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Massey hosts first New Zealand Fat Studies conference

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Dr Cat Pause

New Zealand’s first Fat Studies conference will be held at Massey’s Wellington campus this week.

Massey lecturer in human development Cat Pausé explains Fat Studies is an interdisciplinary field that challenges existing assumptions about fatness and fat people.

Dr Pausé says stereotypes and stigma are placed on fat body, but the relationship between weight and health is more complicated than people think.  

“As a fat activist and a fat scholar I want to change the national discourse on fatness and hopefully this conference will take another step in that direction.

“Fat people deserve the same rights and dignity as non-fat people, which we currently don’t have,” she says.

Dr Pausé says scholars unpack and critique negative assumptions while looking at the impact on fat people’s lives, challenge the “fat stigma” and push for social justice.

The New Zealand Fat Studies: Reflective Intersections conference will be held on Thursday and Friday.
Topics range from fat pride to children’s lessons in fitness and fatness, weight anxiety, the obesity panic and unfixing body size and shape.

Speakers include Dr Andrew Dickson (Massey University), Dr Robyn Longhurst (University of Waikato), and Dr Annemarie Jutel (Victoria University of Wellington) and keynote speaker, Dr Samantha Murray (Macquarie University).

“I’m really excited as this is the first New Zealand conference, and it’s the only one of its kind happening in the world this year,” Dr Pause says.

Fat Studies is a small but emerging field and recently published its first journal, Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.

For more information or to register contact Dr Cat Pausé at fs2012@massey.ac.nz

Follow @FatStudiesNZ12 on Twitter

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