Call for Papers

Hey, y’all,

One of the co-chairs for the Fat Studies Area of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association asked if I’d post this call for papers for their National Conference, “a large and vibrant gathering of fat studies scholars, activists, and artists.” She asked me to stress that “the conference is open and welcoming to all people, academics or not, and to all topics.” It would be great to see the Shapelings represented at the next conference. Info below.

2009 PCA/ACA

Fat Studies

Call for Papers

Fat Studies is becoming an interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary field of study that confronts and critiques cultural constraints against notions of “fatness” and “the fat body”; explores fat bodies as they live in, are shaped by, and remake the world; and creates paradigms for the development of fat acceptance or celebration within mass culture. Fat Studies uses fat bodies as the starting part for a wide-ranging theorization and explication of how societies and cultures past and present have conceptualized all bodies and the political/cultural meanings ascribed to every body. Fat Studies reminds us that all bodies are inscribed with the fears and hopes of the particular culture they reside in, and these emotions often are mislabeled as objective “facts” of health and biology. More importantly, perhaps, Fat Studies insists on the recognition that fat identity can be as fundamental and world-shaping as other identity constructs analyzed within the academy and represented in media.

Proposals in the area of Fat Studies are being accepted for the 2009 PCA /ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association) National Conference in New Orleans, LA (April 8-11, 2009; New Orleans Marriott). We welcome papers and performances from academics, researchers, intellectuals, activists, and artists, in any field of study, and at any stage in their career.

Topics may include but are not limited to

representations of fat people in literature, film, music, nonfiction, and the visual arts

cross-cultural or global constructions of fatness and fat bodies

cultural, historical, or philosophical meanings of fat and fat bodies

portrayals of fat individuals and groups in news, media, magazines

fatness as a social or political identity

fat acceptance, activism, and/or pride movements and tactics

approaches to fat and body image in philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology

fat children in literature, media, and/or pedagogy

fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, ability, gender, and/or sexuality

history and/or critique of diet books and scams

functions of fatphobia or fat oppression in economic and political systems

By November 30, 2008, please send an abstract of 100 – 250 words or a completed paper to Fat Studies Area Co-chairs, Julia McCrossin (jmccross@gwu.edu) and Lesleigh Owen (goddess_les@yahoo.com).

Please include your complete contact information and a CV and/or 50 word bio, along with anticipated A/V needs. All submissions are welcome, but please use the information above to ensure your paper fits within the academic and political scopes of Fat Studies. Please also be mindful that Fat Studies is a political project and not merely an umbrella for all discussions of larger bodies. Also, we encourage submitters to rethink using words like “obesity” and “overweight” in their presentations unless they are used ironically, within quotes, or accompanied by a political analysis.

Presenters must become members of the Popular Culture Association. Find more information on the conference and organization at http://pcaaca.org/conference/national.php.

11 thoughts on “Call for Papers”

  1. Dammit! I’m working on one as we speak, from a philosophical perspective, but I can’t afford to travel or to take my nursing baby with me (won’t be leaving him!). Figures!

  2. Thanks for posting this, Kate. I’ve attended the past 3 years, and I always leave on such a high of fat positive bliss that it should be illegal in all 50 states.

  3. YAY PCA!

    I’ve been to several of these conferences. They’re GINORMOUS and also if you’re interested in anything media/tv/film or book related, you’ll find something of interest.

    Also PCA takes more or less everything submitted, so grad students aren’t on the outside.

    Also Yay New Orleans. I’ll be there. Hopefully.


  4. The “fat children in literature, media, and/or pedagogy” caught my eye because Kate’sNephewT (age 14, grade 9) is currently reading “Lord of the Flies.”

    It’s been more than 30 years, but I could still see th epafge that says, “His name is Piggy!” “Piggy!” “Piggy!””Piggy!”

    Couldn’t remember much else about the book, but Piggy the fat boy and his broken glasses and broken head sure stuck with me!

    Ah, classic literature.

  5. I’ve been attending PCA national conferences for years now (in a different subject area) and it is a fun conference. I won’t be at the New Orleans one (for complicated reasons partly related to the city it is scheduled to be in–which they’ve been at too many times in the recent past) but it is the first one I’ve missed in awhile. I hope some people here consider going.

    Any topic you can imagine will have papers presented there: diners, almost any author, tv show, movie, play, singer, music videos, gravestones, book–you name it and there might be a paper on it. It can be a lot of fun.

  6. Dang, that sounds perfect, but I don’t know if I have time to write another paper. Maybe I can throw together an abstract, and kind of hope it doesn’t get picked.

  7. I’m applying in a different area, but when/if I get there (NOLA! WOOOO!), I’ll keep an eye out for the FA panels–maybe a get together?

  8. harveypenguin PCA takes everything. If you submit a paper or abstract you have to be essentially illiterate not to get in.

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