Fat Activism

Author: Charlotte Cooper

Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement explores the history of Fat Activism and explains why it is important.



Available 4 January 2016

What is Fat Activism and why is it important?

Charlotte Cooper, a fat activist with around 30 years experience, answers this question by lifting the lid on a previously unexplored social movement and offering a fresh perspective on one of the major problems of our times.

In her expansive grassroots study she:

  • Reveals details of fat activist methods and approaches and explodes myths

  • Charts extensive accounts of international fat activist historical roots going back over four decades

  • Explores controversies and tensions in the movement

  • Shows that fat activism is an undeniably feminist and queer phenomenon

  • Explains why fat activism presents exciting possibilities for anyone interested in social justice

Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement is a rare insider’s view of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms. It is part of a new wave of accessible, accountable and rigorous work emerging through Research Justice and the Para-Academy.

This is the book you have been waiting for.

Charlotte Cooper is a psychotherapist, cultural worker and para-academic living and working in London. She is a founding proponent of Fat Studies.

‘Charlotte Cooper’s fierce new book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement should be required reading for scholars and activists. Cooper draws on extensive interviews with fat activists to render a trenchant analysis of our field of motion. She takes a penetrating look at activist efforts and self-understandings, eschewing easy praise in favor of discernment that ultimately promises to invigorate the movement.’

Kathleen LeBesco / Marymount Manhattan College (Associate Dean)

‘Charlotte Cooper is once again in the vanguard of radical social change with this book about fat activism. She has captured the history of the fat rights movements, interviewed fat activists, and demonstrated the extensive and exciting breadth of fat activism in a global setting. Fat activism is often portrayed as ineffective when in fact its lack of conformity and interdisciplinarity can serve as a model for other social movements.’

Esther Rothblum / Editor / Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society

For any civil rights movement to succeed, it must know its history; to build on its strengths and learn from its mistakes. With the ubiquity of the Internet, the historical knowledge and record of activism can be rewritten with 140 characters. That is one of the many reasons that Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement is important. Anyone interested in the epistemology, ontology, and methodology, (not to mention history) of fat activism should make this a central text of their library.

Cat Pausé / Massey University / Co-Editor of Queering Fat Embodiment

It is in the interest of the ethically and intellectually dubious field of “Obesity Research” to flatten fat subjects; rendering our voices narrowly defined by punchy rhetoric, our activist interventions reduced to child-like flailing against the big bad thin-dominated world. Charlotte Cooper’s book resists this myopic view of resistance to fat oppression in form and content. Fat Activists need more researchers and writers examining and reflecting on our work from within, and this book stands as an offering and opening in that vein.

Naima Lowe / Artist and Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College

Contents: Acknowledgements / Introduction / 1. Undoing / 2. Doing / 3. Locating / 4. Travelling / 5. Accessing / 6. Queering / Bibliography / Index

ISBN: 978-1-910849-00-2

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