Thickening Fat: Fat Bodies, Intersectionality, and Social Justice seeks to explore the multiple, variable, and embodied experiences of fat oppression and fat activisms. Moving beyond an analysis of fat oppression as singular, this book will aim to unpack the volatility of fat—the mutability of fat embodiments as they correlate with other embodied subjectivities, and the threshold where fat begins to be reviled, celebrated, or amended. In addition, Thickening Fat explores the full range of intersectional and liminal analyses that push beyond the simple addition of two or more subjectivities, looking instead at the complex alchemy of layered and unstable markers of difference and privilege.
Cognizant that the concept of intersectionality has been filled out in a plurality of ways, Thickening Fat poses critical questions around how to render analysis of fatness intersectional and to thicken up intersectionality, where intersectionality is attenuated to the shifting and composite and material dimensions to identity, rather than reduced to an “add difference and stir” approach. The chapters in this collection ask what happens when we operationalize intersectionality in fat scholarship and politics, and we position difference at the centre and start of inquiry.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Jen Rinaldi, Carla Rive, and May Friedman
Part I: Our Heavy Inheritance
1. The Big Colonial Bones of Indigenous North America’s “Obesity Epidemic”. Margaret Robinson 2. Origin Stories: Thickening Fat and the Problem of Historiography. Amy Erdman Farrell 3. Fat Pedagogy for Queers: Chicana Body Becoming in Four Acts. Karleen Pendleton Jiménez 4. “May My Children Always Have Milk and Rice”: Problematizing the Role of Mothers in Childhood Fatness in India. Sucharita Sarkar 5. Tracing Fatness Through the Eating Disorder Assemblage. Andrea Lamarre, Carla Rice, and Jen Rinaldi
Part II: Exploding Our Expectations
6. Critiquing the DSM-V Narrative of “Obesity” as “Mental Illness”. Sarah Blanchette 7. Taking Up Space in the Doctor’s Office: How My Racialized Fat Body Confronts Medical Discourse. Sonia Meerai 8. “You’re Just Another Friggin’ Number to Add to the Problem”: Constructing the Racialized (M)other in Contemporary Discourses of Pregnancy Fatness. George Parker, Cat Pausé, and Jade Le Grice 9. Embodying the Fat/Trans Intersection. Francis Ray White 10. Medicalization, Maternity, and the Materiality of Resistance: “Maternal Obesity” and Experiences of Reproductive Care. Deborah McPhail and Lindsey Mazur
Part III: Expanding Our Activisms
11. No Bad Fatties Allowed?: Negotiating the Meaning and Power of the Mutable Body. Heather Brown and April M. Herndon 12. Oppressive Liberation: BBW Bashes and the Affective Rollercoaster. Crystal L. M. Kotow 13. Thick Sistahs and Heavy Disprivilege: Black Women, Intersectionality, and Weight Stigma. E-K. Daufin 14. Photographing Fatness: Resisting Assimilation Through Fat Activist Calendars. Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst 15. Queering Fat Activism: A Study in Whiteness. Emily R.M. Lind
Part IV: Our Gainful Failures
16. Working Towards the Affirmation of Fatness and Impairment. Ramanpreet Annie Bahra and James Overboe 17. “Hey, Little Fat Kid”: My Impaired, Fat, Hairy, White, Male Body. Michael Gill 18. Reading and Affirming Alternatives in the Academy: Black Fat Queer Femme Embodiment. Mary Senyonga 19. Fat Camp: A Conversation on YA Fiction, Fat Shame, and Queer Love. Marty Fink and Julie Hollenbach 20. Dismantling the Empire: In Defense of Incoherence and Intersectionality. May Friedman
Contributor Biographies. Index.
May Friedman is an associate professor in the Ryerson University School of Social Work and Ryerson/York graduate program in Communication and Culture, and she holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University. Dr. Friedman has a long publication history including the award-winning monograph Mommyblogs and the Changing Face of Motherhood (2013), as well as several edited collections.
Carla Rice is Professor and Canada Research Chair specializing in Embodiment/Subjectivity studies and in Arts-based/Research Creation Methodologies at the University of Guelph, and she holds a PhD from York University in Gender and Women’s Studies. She founded Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice as a leading-edge creative research center with a mandate to foster inclusive communities, well-being, equity, and justice. She has received numerous awards for advocacy, research, and mentorship including the Feminist Mentorship Award and the Mary McEwen Award for Outstanding Gender Studies Scholarship, and she was recently inducted into the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. She has published numerous books and articles, and directs multiple research grants.
Jen Rinaldi is an Assistant Professor in the Legal Studies program at Ontario Tech University. She earned a doctoral degree in Critical Disability Studies at York University, and a master’s degree in Philosophy at the University of Guelph. She and Kate Rossiter authored Institutional Violence & Disability: Punishing Conditions (2018).