Gender Studies | Topics in Gender Studies: Thin, Bodies, Fat Bodies: The Gendered Politics of Weight
G104 | 13528 | Weida


It’s been said that hating fat people is the last acceptable
prejudice. While this statement is debatable it is a fact that there
is a Western, if not increasingly global, obsession with weight.
This course will explore how feminism has theorized such issues as
embodiment, thinness, eating disorders and obesity; how the new Fat
Studies literature/movement is attempting to redefine how we talk
about obesity, the ways in which media frames how we think about our
bodies and the bodies of others, and how weight affects persons of
various genders, races, ethnicities, classes and ages differently.
More specifically, as a class we will attempt to answer such
questions as: Why is weight a feminist concern? Why is such an
ostensibly “individual” or “private” concern public fodder? Why was
there a rhetorical switch from “fat” to “obesity” and what does it
mean to refer to obesity as an epidemic? Why are fat suits humorous?
Why is there a recent fascination with weight loss narratives and
competitions and what does this say about current conceptions of
subjectivity? Can men really get away with being fat? Why don’t we
hear more about men with eating disorders? Ultimately, this course
is interested in thinking about the relationship between media,
medical discourses, weight, and the construction of subjectivity.