Fat Studies

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Call for papers: 

PCA/ACA Fat Studies 2020 Call for Papers/Presentations/Panels

Deadline: 11.1.19


Fat Studies is 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 body size as the starting point 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.  


Please join other Fat Studies scholars in Philadelphia, PA from April 15-18, 2020 for the PCA/ACA National Conference. Presenters must become members of the Popular Culture Association. Find more information on the conference and organization at https://pcaaca.org/conference.


The deadline for online submission of presentations is November 1, 2019. Please do not email your abstract to the Fat Studies Area Chair; you must submit your presentation via the PCA/ACA online database. For individual papers, please submit a title and 100-word abstract. For themed paper sessions, each presenter must enter their own presentation, and the session chair should contact Lesleigh Owen (lesleigh.owen@bhsu.edu) to assemble them into a panel. Please also contact Lesleigh for help in submitting roundtable discussions.


Fat Studies is amenable to papers and performances from academics, researchers, intellectuals, activists, and artists, in any field of study, and at any stage in their career.


Key Dates:

August 1, 2019               Submission Page Goes Live

October 1, 2019             Early Bird Registration Opens

November 1, 2019         Deadline for Paper Proposals

November 1, 2019          Endowment Grants Deadline

December 1, 2019          Early Bird Registration ENDS

January 1, 2020             Regular Registration ENDS

January 2, 2020              Late Registration BEGINS—be sure to reserve your spot in the program!

January 15, 2020            Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline

January 20, 2020            Preliminary Schedule Available

February 1, 2020            Registration for Presenters ENDS—participants who have not registered dropped from the program at the end of the day


March 1, 2020                Non-Presenters Late Registration OPENS

April 15-18, 2020          Philly!


All submissions are welcome, but please ensure your proposal 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 term for all discussions of larger bodies. Additionally, submitters should rethink using words like “obesity” and “overweight” in their presentations unless they are used ironically, within quotes, or accompanied by a political analysis.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the PCA/ACA Fat Studies Chair, Lesleigh Owen (lesleigh.owen@bhsu.edu).


Please feel free to circulate this CFP and invite colleagues. Thank you, and see you there!



Area chairs