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The Fat Pedagogy Reader

Challenging Weight-Based Oppression Through Critical Education

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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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Acknowledgments

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First, the two of us want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the chapter authors. Simply put, without your contributions this book would not exist. We have learned much from you and look forward to future conversations and, perhaps, future collaborations.

We are very grateful to series editor Shirley Steinberg, who first encouraged us to develop a book on fat pedagogy. We also want to thank the team at the New York office of Peter Lang who helped turn this book into reality, particularly managing editor Chris Myers, Phyllis Korper, editorial assistant Stephen Mazur, and production director Bernie Shade.

Kathleen Knowling kindly gave us permission to reprint her evocative art on the cover, which we very much appreciate. Thank you to Natalie Beausoleil for introducing us to Kathleen and for letting us borrow this piece of art that hangs proudly in her home.

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