Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue

Call For Papers
“Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue”

Special Journal Issue of Feminism & Psychology
Guest Editor: Dr Samantha Murray

While cultural anxieties about fatness and stigmatisation of fat
bodies in Western cultures have been central to dominant discourses
about bodily `propriety´ since the early twentieth century, the rise
of the `disease´ category of obesity and the moral panic over an
alleged global `obesity epidemic´ has lent a medical authority and
legitimacy to what can be described as `fat-phobia´. Against the
backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation and pathologisation of
fatness, the field of Fat Studies has emerged in recent years to offer
an interdisciplinary critical interrogation of the dominant medical
models of health, to give voice to the lived experience of fat bodies,
and to offer critical insights into, and investigations of, the
ethico-political implications of the cultural meanings that have come
to be attached to fat bodies.

This Special Issue will examine a range of questions concerning the
construction of fat bodies in the dominant imaginary, including the
problematic intersection of medical discourse and morality around
`obesity´, disciplinary technologies of `health´ to normalise fat
bodies (such as diet regimes, exercise programs and bariatric
surgeries), gendered aspects of `fat´, dominant discourses of
`fatness´ in a range of cultural contexts, and critical strategies for
political resistance to pervasive `fat-phobic´ attitudes.
This Special Issue of Feminism & Psychology will showcase critical fat
scholarship from around the globe by gathering together research from
across a spectrum of disciplinary backgrounds (such as Cultural
Studies, Fat Studies, Critical Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology,
Human/Cultural Geography, Public Health, etc) as well as activists and
health care professionals. The Special Issue seeks to begin a critical
conversation about the productive and enabling critical possibilities
Fat Studies offers for rethinking dominant notions about health and
pathology, gender and bodily aesthetics, political interventions, and

Papers are sought that engage with topics such as (but not limited to):

o Interventions to normalise fat bodies (such as diet regimes,
exercise programs, weight loss pharmaceuticals and bariatric

o The ethico-political implications of the medicalisation of `obesity´;

o Constructions of the `fat child´ in childhood obesity media reportage;

o Representations of fat bodies in film, television, literature or art;

o Intersections of medical discourse and morality around `obesity´;

o The somatechnics of fatness;

o Critical psychological responses to eating practices and body politics;

o Histories of fat activism and/or strategies for political intervention;

o Fat and queer histories/identities;

o Fat embodiment online, the Fat-O-Sphere;

o Feminist responses to fatness;

o Constructions of fatness in a range of cultural contexts;

o Systems of body quantification, measurement, and conceptualizations
of (in)appropriate `size´;

o Fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender,
disability and/or ageing.

Contributions will be expected to orient themselves to the core aims
and mission of Feminism & Psychology, which is concerned with
publishing work that fosters the development of feminist theory and
practice in – and beyond – psychology, and that provides insights into
the gendered reality of everyday lives.

The Special Issue will consist of papers in of the following formats:
o Papers between 5 – 6000 words in length;
o Observation/Commentary-style papers – up to 2500 words in length

Please note that all word counts include reference lists.
Contributions will be selected following an anonymous peer review
process. For further information regarding referencing styles and
formatting guidelines, please go to

Please send full-length papers, as Word doc attachments, to Dr
Samantha Murray via email at Samantha.murray@mq.edu.au by Friday, 26
November 2010.

Vanessa Fredericks
Somatechnics Administrator
Faculty of Arts
Macquarie University 2109 NSW
(02) 9850 2138

One thought on “Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue

  1. Pingback: Mental Disorders 101

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s