Fat Culture and Materiality

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-06-05
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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"Fat". In contemporary society the word never fails to elicit powerful emotions, especially as it relates to bodily health and appearance. But fat is a noun as well as an adjective and has a cultural life outside of its relationship with the human body. By focusing on the complex physical and experiential dimensions of this problematic substance, Fat: Culture and Materiality breaks new ground in the study of the relationship between culture and the material world.

With contributions from well-respected international scholars, this innovative and interdisciplinary collection will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in fat and its relationship to culture, materiality and lived experience. The volume addresses the role of fats in a variety of cultural settings. Topics include the politics of Palestinian olive oil; the allure of pig fat in heritage pork; the material sources of fat stereotypes in classical and biblical texts; the use of harvested fat in aesthetic surgery; and the status of fat in the self-narratives of anorexics.

Author Biography

Christopher E. Forth is the Howard Professor of Humanities & Western civilization and Professor of History at the University of Kansas, USA.

Alison Leitch is a social anthropologist who teaches in the cultural sociology program at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Table of Contents

Christopher E. Forth, University of Kansas, USA and Alison Leitch, Macquarie University, Australia

The Qualities of Palestinian Olive Oil
Anne Meneley, Trent University, Canada

In Tastes, Lost and Found: Remembering the Real Flavour of Fat Pork
Brad Weiss, College of William & Mary, USA

Thinking Through Fat: Bodies, History, and Materiality
Christopher E. Forth, University of Kansas, USA

Joseph Beuys: Shaman of Fat
Alison Leitch, Macquarie University, Australia

Engrossing Encounters: Exploring Fat as Lived Experience, Metaphor and Substance in the Narratives of Individuals Affected by Anorexia
Anna Lavis, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK

Fat is the Future: Bioprospecting, Fat Stem Cells, and Emergent Breasted Materialities
Nadine Ehlers, Georgetown University, USA

Bound Bodies: Navigating the Margins of Fat Bodies and Clothes
Trudie Cain, Kerry Chamberlain and Ann Dupuis, both Massey University, New Zealand

Fatsploitation: Performing the Materiality of Weight-loss
Jennifer-Scott Mobley, Marymount Manhattan College, USA


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