Breaking Boundaries: Body Politics and the Dynamics of Difference
a Conference at Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, New York
March 4-5, 2011
Free and Open to the Public
Fat Activist and Author of Fat!So?
Author of The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public
When it comes to “the body,” the definition of normal is fluid and changes across cultures and time. In each context, there are those who have been exploited and oppressed because they do not fit prevailing notions of beauty. This conference will explore the body politics around those with “deviant” bodies.
This conference will address these and other questions:
What are the dominant narratives and perceptions about beauty and bodies? How do these perceptions affect public policy around issues of health, civil rights, education, and accessibility? How do those whose bodies do not fit into the “proper” cultural norms challenge attitudes, laws and perceptions? How have they negotiated for and found power in unwelcoming environments, both now and in the past? How do the categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, age and disability complicate prevailing ideas about embodiment? Are there and have there been communities and cultures that have welcomed those whose bodies are currently perceived as deviant in dominant popular discourse? And, what is the relationship between promoting and continuing the dominant discourse and capitalist consumer culture?
We invite activists, scholars and artists in all fields to propose papers, panels, workshops, performances, and exhibits. Proposals for panels are especially welcomed, but individual papers will also be considered.
Specific topics may include, but are not limited to:
Representations of deviant bodies in popular culture
Social justice and fat and disability activism
Intersectionality: race, gender, class, sexuality and the body
HAES: Health at Every Size
Feminism and the body
Social construction of disability
Objectification and commodification of the deviant body
Fiction and the deviant body
Language and the body
Deviant bodies across cultures and time
Please email a brief abstract and c.v./resume to:
Women’s History Graduate Program
Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY 10708
Deadline December, 3 2010