Fat Activism Down Under
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Althouse Hall, Room 106, 7 p.m.
This talk explores the fat activist movement in Australia and New Zealand including fat femme synchronized swim, fat burlesque, and the “plus size” fashion industry. Lee will discuss the challenges of doing fat activism and scholarship, the complexities of dealing with the media and organizations that discriminate, the personal cost of fat activism, and the white privilege of prominent fat activists.
The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues.
Jenny Lee researches in the interdisciplinary fields of Fat Studies and Creative Writing at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing in ‘Culture and values in health’ at Victoria University.
She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and has published in academic journals and books, literary journals and magazines. She has presented her research at conferences in Spain, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and published work in England, Ireland, the U.S, and Australia. Her academic publications include, ‘Not just a type: diabetes, fat and fear’, in Somatechnics (2012); ‘Flaunting fat: sex with the lights on’, Queering Fat Embodiment (2014); ‘Hidden and forbidden: alter egos, invisibility cloaks and psychic fat suits’ in Fat Sex: New Directions in Theory and Activism (2015); ‘All the way from (B)lame to (A)cceptance: Diabetes, health and fat activism’ in The Politics of Size (2015) and the forthcoming ‘Stigma in practice: Barriers to health for fat women’ in Frontiers in Psychology: Obesity stigma in healthcare: impacts on policy, practice and patients. Lee’s creative publications include fiction, memoir and narrative non-fiction and she curates spoken word events for writers’ and queer festivals.
Her PhD research was in Creative Writing and Gender Studies, and explored the medical management of intersex bodies, and the consequences of this within families. This stemmed from Lee’s interest in bodies that Western culture considers non-normative, and engaged with notions of intrusion, discipline and punishment for certain bodies in our culture. Her post-PhD research has been in fat activism and fat embodiment. She is currently writing about intersections between fat and queer; fat stigma and barriers to health care for fat people, and fatness in pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and motherhood. She is a queer, feminist, fat activist.
Video of the Lecture