Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression

Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression

Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression

Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression

Synopsis

"This is an exceptional collection--the subject is of obvious importance, yet terribly undertheorized and unexamined. I know of no other work that offers what this collection provides."--Marcia Millman, author of "Such a Pretty Face: Being Fat in America

." . . A valuable contribution to scholarly debates on the place of excessive bodies in contemporary culture. This book promises to enrich all areas of inquiry related to the politics of bodies."--Carole Spitzack, author of "Confessing Excess: Women and the Politics of Body Reduction

"This anthology includes a wide range of perceptive and original essays, which explore and analyze the underlying ideologies that have made fat "incorrect." Echoing the spirit of the nineteenth-century adage about children who should be neither seen nor heard, some of the authors powerfully remind us that we keep "bodies out of bound" silenced and unseen-unless, of course, we need to peek at the comic or grotesque."--Raquel Salgado Scherr, co-author of "Face Value: The Politics of Beauty

"Through textual analyses, video/film analyses, television theory, and literary theory, this collection demonstrates the various ways in which dominant representations of fat and corpulence have been both demonized and rendered invisible. . . . This volume will be a crucial corollary to work on the tyranny of slenderness; a collection of different perspectives on the fat body is sorely missing in women's studies, communication, and media studies."--Sarah Banet-Weiser, author of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity

Excerpt

A central question in envisioning this anthology was how to reconceptualize and reconfigure corpulence. Others followed: How does the dominant American popular view of fatness, as bodily excess, diverge from other configurations of fatness? How has fatness been differently constructed in other cultures? in different historical contexts? How can we transcend the restrictive constructions of corpulence within discourses— medical, psychological, and capitalistic—that have accumulated around the site of the “fat body” (the singular denoting the sameness with which such bodies are reductively examined)? How are these discourses deployed in order to contain fat bodies, fat people? How do they simultaneously construct and erase the fat body, attempting to expel it from representation at the very moment that defines it? How can we begin to resist and deconstruct the discourses that place the “corpulent body” under erasure, even as they demarcate its discursive terrain?

One of our objectives, then, is unmasking the fat body, rendering it visible and present, rather than invisible and absent: seen, rather than unsightly. Clearly, this first objective demands a second: the unraveling of the discourses that have most intransigently defined and fixed fat bodies, nearly preventing the further interpretive analysis of and epistemological inquiry into corpulence and corpulent bodies.

Resisting the dominant discursive constructions of corpulence, the essays in this collection analyze the politics and power of corpulence and answer a variety of research questions related to the social representations of fatness: How do media representations of fat people erase and asexualize them? How do weight, body size, food consumption, and eating dis orders constitute the normative discourses of fatness? How are these discourses deployed in order to contain the fat body? Exploring this terrain . . .

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