The International Handbook of Fat Studies was published by Routledge on 19 April 2021. To celebrate this momentous occasion, many of the contributors joined myself and Sonya Renee Taylor to launch the book with a global Zoom.
Contributing authors from Canada, the United States, France, the UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, Finland, and Australia all helped us launch the book, along with about 35 people interested in Fat Studies scholarship and activism. It was a fatlicious mix of academics and activists.
The Handbook brings together a diverse body of work from around the globe and across a wide range of Fat Studies topics and perspectives. The first major collection of its kind, it explores the epistemology, ontology, and methodology of fatness, with attention to issues such as gender and sexuality, disability and embodiment, health, race, media, discrimination, and pedagogy. Presenting work from both scholarly writers and activists, this volume reflects a range of critical perspectives vital to the expansion of Fat Studies and thus constitutes an essential resource for scholars in the field. We are proud that contributors to the Handbook hail from fifteen countries; we are also proud that half of the Handbook was written by activists.
Many of the contributors responded to the CFP, while others were belly bumped by me to join. The resulting work challenges traditional ideas about fatness, reviews existing discourse about fatness, and produces new debates about fatness. There are gaps, though. Some of these gaps exist due to contributions that failed to materialise; some exist because of the paucity of scholarship on a singular topic.
As Sonya Renee Taylor and I note in the conclusion of the introductory chapter,
This International Handbook of Fat Studies meets the world at a time of great upheaval. A moment in history where those navigating lives at the intersections of various oppressions are demanding change and one where those who have been historically nescient to these experiences are being ushered into greater awareness. Fat Studies and fat activism sit at the precipice of an emerging world, one where fat bodies and their liberations cannot be disaggregated from the liberation of all oppressions. We believe the work in this book invites you, the reader, into a more nuanced and yet expansive landscape of fat scholarship. We believe there is also a necessary summons into the queries, harms, and hopes of fat lives beyond the too often foregrounded western narratives. Most importantly, within these pages is an offering for Fat Studies and all who are impacted by the field to live juicier, more abundant, more robust existences. We hope we fatten up your world.
We have such high hopes for this Handbook, but we recognize that as an academic text, the cost makes it inaccessible to many people. We are asking that people request that their local library (University, community, etc) order a copy of the Handbook. If you like to purchase a personal copy, you can find the eBook at a discount price from the publisher.
Chapter One: Fattening scholarship byCat Pausé and Sonya Renee Taylor
Section One – Defining fat
Chapter Two: “Am I fat?” by Darci L. Thoune
Chapter Three: Quantifying or contributing to antifat attitudes? by Patricia Cain, Ngaire Donaghue, and Graeme Ditchburn
Chapter Four: Language, fat and causation by Kimberly Dark
Chapter Five: My life is intersectional, so my coaching has to be by Tiana A. Dodson
Section Two – Theorising fat
Chapter Six: Feminism and fat by Amy E. Farrell
Chapter Seven: Big, fat, Greek modernities by Sofia Apostolidou
Chapter Eight: Does that mean my body must always be a source of pain? by Laura Contrera
Chapter Nine: Fatness and consequences of neoliberalism by Hannele Harjunen
Chapter Ten: Fat and transgender by Francis Ray White
Chapter Eleven: Fatness and disability by April Herndon
Section Three – Fat in the institution
Chapter Twelve: Fat in the media by Katariina Kyrölä
Chapter Thirteen: Being fat in a thin world by Amena Azeez
Chapter Fourteen: Fattening education by Erin Cameron and Constance Russell
Chapter Fifteen: Fatness, discrimination & law by Stephanie von Liebenstein
Chapter Sixteen: Pregnancy, parenting and the challenge of fatness by May Friedman
Chapter Seventeen: Fat Studies and Public Health by Natalie Ingraham
Section Four – Living fat
Chapter Eighteen: Reclaiming voices from stigma by Jenny Lee and Emily McAvan
Chapter Nineteen: Save the whales by Kath Read
Chapter Twenty: Fat hatred and body respect by Tara Margrét Vilhjálmsdóttir
Chapter Twenty-One: Desirability as access by Nomonde Mxhalisa
Chapter Twenty-Two: The impact of being a fat Chinese woman in Hong Kong Bertha Chan
Chapter Twenty-Three: Surviving & thriving while fat by Sonalee Rashatwar
Chapter Twenty-Four: Review of scholarship on fat gay men by Jason Whitesel
Section five – Fat disruptions
Chapter Twenty-Five: Genealogies of excess by Athia N. Choudhury
Chapter Twenty-Six: When you are already dead by Hunter Ashleigh Shackelford
Chapter Twenty-Seven: TransFat by Sam Orchard
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Lesbians and fat by Esther D. Rothblum
Chapter Twenty-Nine: What’s queer about Fat Studies now? by Allison Taylor