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The Fat Pedagogy Reader

Challenging Weight-Based Oppression Through Critical Education


Edited By Erin Cameron and Constance Russell

Over the past decade, concerns about a global «obesity epidemic» have flourished. Public health messages around physical activity, fitness, and nutrition permeate society despite significant evidence disputing the «facts» we have come to believe about «obesity». We live in a culture that privileges thinness and enables weight-based oppression, often expressed as fat phobia and fat bullying. New interdisciplinary fields that problematize «obesity» have emerged, including critical obesity studies, critical weight studies, and fat studies. There also is a small but growing literature examining weight-based oppression in educational settings in what has come to be called «fat pedagogy». The very first book of its kind, The Fat Pedagogy Reader brings together an international, interdisciplinary roster of respected authors who share heartfelt stories of oppression, privilege, resistance, and action; fascinating descriptions of empirical research; confessional tales of pedagogical (mis)adventures; and diverse accounts of educational interventions that show promise. Taken together, the authors illuminate both possibilities and pitfalls for fat pedagogy that will be of interest to scholars, educators, and social justice activists. Concluding with a fat pedagogy manifesto, the book lays a solid foundation for this important and exciting new field. This book could be adopted in courses in fat studies, critical weight studies, bodies and embodiment, fat pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, gender and education, critical pedagogy, social justice education, and diversity in education.


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: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-2567-6 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1784-8 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Discrimination in education. | Discrimination against overweight persons. Classification: LCC LC212.F38 2016 | DDC 379.2/6—dc23 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at © 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited. Contents Acknowledgments ix Preface xi Marilyn Wann Introduction 1 Erin Cameron and Constance Russell Part One: Storying Fat Pedagogy Chapter One: Picking the Bones 13 Ellen S Abell Chapter Two: Fat Invisibility, Fat Hate: Towards a Progressive Pedagogy of Size 21 Tracy Royce Chapter Three: “How Can You Be Teaching This?”: Tears, Fears, and Fat 31 Victoria Kannen Chapter Four: Reflections on Thin Privilege and Responsibility 41 Linda Bacon, Caitlin O’Reilly, and Lucy Aphramor Part Two: Practicing Fat Pedagogies Chapter Five: Promise to Try: Combating Fat Oppression Through Pedagogy in Tertiary Education 53 Cat Pausé Chapter Six: Teaching Fat Studies in a Liberal Arts College: The Centrality of Mindfulness, Deep Listening, and Empathic Interpretation as Pedagogic Methods 61 Amy E Farrell The Fat Pedagogy Reader: Challenging Weight-Based Oppression Through Critical Educationvi Chapter Seven: Weapons of Mass Distraction in Teaching Fat Studies: “But Aren’t They Unhealthy? And Why Can’t They Just Lose Weight?” 71...

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