CALL FOR PAPERS
The Fat Pedagogy Reader: Challenging Weight-Based Oppression in Education
Edited by Erin Cameron & Constance Russell, Lakehead University
(to be published in “Counterpoints” series (ed. Shirley Steinberg) for Peter Lang Publishers)
Over the last decade, concerns about ‘globesity’, referring to a global obesity epidemic, have flourished. The media is rife with hyperbolic claims about the dire consequences of obesity, and public health messages about physical activity, fitness, and nutrition permeate society. This obesity discourse serves to reproduce a framework of thinking, talking, and action where thinness is privileged and where a ‘size matters’ message fuels narratives about personal irresponsibility and lack of willpower that validates fat-phobic behaviours and practices. In response, a growing number of scholars are interrogating obesity discourse, illuminating its consequences, and discussing how it can be challenged. In this book, we wish to bring attention to the ways in which weight-based oppression occurs within spaces and places of learning. We want to develop and advocate a fat pedagogy that promotes safe learning spaces for all learners, regardless of size.
This book will make a significant contribution to the literature because there has not yet been a comprehensive examination of the pedagogical approaches used for disrupting weight-based oppression in elementary, secondary and higher education or in education in non-formal and informal settings. A growing number of scholars in education as well as in women’s studies, geography, psychology, and health, are starting to write about how weight-based oppression could be challenged. We thus want to bring together an international contingent of scholars from a diverse range of disciplines to critically examine approaches to teaching about weight-based oppression from a range of historical, social, political, and cultural contexts.
We expect this book to be of interest to scholars, educators, students, and practitioners in the fields of fat studies, critical weight studies, critical geographies of body size, critical health studies, and social justice education. It will be of particular interest and use to instructors who are teaching in the areas of education, women’s studies, public health, community health, kinesiology, nursing, nutrition, geography, and psychology, as well as interested teachers in elementary and secondary schools.
We envision the book as being made up of an extensive array of relatively short (i.e., 3000-5000 words) and accessibly written chapters that describe and analyze the pedagogical approaches used by educators from around the world who address ideas of bodies, weight, fatness, obesity, thinness, and health at any size in their teaching. The book will end with a Fat Pedagogy Manifesto and a call to action. It is time to throw our weight around, so to speak, on this important social justice issue!
We are requesting a “statement of interest” (maximum 500 words) that includes the title of the proposed submission and an abstract that provides an overview of key arguments to be made in the chapter by January 7, 2014. A decision on whether a full submission will be sought will be communicated by February 1, 2014. Full manuscripts will be due August 1, 2014.
Inquiries and statements of interest should be directed to Erin Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Connie Russell (email@example.com).
And for a visual aid -- my partner, Fat Studies scholar Julia McCrossin, giving flabulous demonstrations of fat pedagogy at George Washington University a few years ago (Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, English Department):