In 2004 my comic novel “Degrees For Everyone” was published. Its salient theme was the decline in universities of legitimate academic subjects and the growth in their place of non-academic nonsense studies.
I centred the plot around a fictitious Rubenesque Studies Department targeting fat girls with bogus subjects telling them it was good to be obese.
At the time I thought I was overcooking it but not so as always with their eye on an easy dollar, Massey decided this was a good idea and commenced a Department of Fat Studies. It’s ludicrous.
Below an announcement from the latest Massey newsletter.
Fat Studies scholars and activists from around the world celebrated the launch of The International Handbook of Fat Studies on 19 April 2021 via a global Zoom event.
The Handbook, published by Routledge, features a diverse body of work from around the globe and across a wide range of Fat Studies topics and perspectives.
Comprised of 29 chapters, the book includes contributions from both academics and activists with the contributors working across industries in public health, social sciences, arts, law, medicine, and the physical sciences.
Editors of the book; Massey University Senior Lecturer Dr Cat Pausé and founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology Sonya Renee Taylor hosted the launch, speaking alongside fifteen of the contributing authors.
Editor Sonya Renee Taylor says this new book, the first of its kind, comes at a time of great upheaval in the world.
“Fat studies and fat activism sit at the precipice of an emerging world, one where fat bodies and their liberations cannot be disaggregated from the liberation of all oppressions.”
The book explores the epistemology, ontology and methodology of fatness, with attention to issues such as gender and sexuality, disability and embodiment, health, race, media, discrimination, and pedagogy.
Editor Cat Pausé noted, “we believe the work in this book invites the reader into a more nuanced and yet expansive landscape of fat scholarship.
“We also believe there is a necessary summons into the queries, harms, and hopes of fat lives beyond the too often foregrounded western narratives. We hope we fatten up your world.”
I’ve tried to think of a future career for these fat girl graduates. Half a century back touring side-shows included a fat lady offering. When I was eleven and was lugged up to an Upper Hutt A&P show by my mother, this she deeming a worthy experience, I escaped, paid my sixpence and gazed awestruck at a fat woman sitting before us. Today she would be viewed on Lambton Quay at lunchtime as verging on anorexic. Trust me; there were no fat people in the post-war years.
As I see it, the only career options for these graduates will be in Arabic brothels where there’s a taste for such offerings.