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Differing Scales of Fat: A Seminar with Dr Megan Warin, April 13, 2016

For the third seminar in the Food Values Research Group seminar series, we are pleased to present:

Differing Scales of Fat: Troubling What We Think We Know About Obesity

Assoc Professor Megan Warin, University of Adelaide

warinThis paper explores how people living in an ‘obesogenic environment’ in South Australia experience the multiplicities of fat.   Fat is central to clinical and popular understandings of obesity; identified through measurements of abnormal or excess fat accumulation in adipose tissue. Moving away from representational accounts of fat, this analysis builds upon ontological and new materialist explorations of bodies (Colls 2007; Bennett 2010; Warin et al. 2015), to focus on the ‘embodied topographies’ and agentive capacities of corpulence. Extending the question of what fat does to ethnographic accounts of bodies, this paper ‘fleshes out fat’ to demonstrate how the productive potential of fat  ̶  to express health, ‘to get stuff’, to ‘protect’ oneself or repel others  ̶  materializes in and from bodies.

Dr Megan Warin is a social anthropologist and ARC Future Fellow whose research interests coalesce around the gendering of health and illness (including anorexia and obesity), the anthropology of epigenetics, and public understanding of scientific paradigms of obesity. In addition to Gender Studies and Anthropology, Megan has worked in and across a number of disciplines in Australian and UK universities, including psychiatry and public health. Megan is a member of the Lifecourse and Intergenerational Health (LIGHt) Research Group (part of the Robinson Research Institute), where she is exploring gender and class differences in obesity (funded through ARC grants), public understandings of obesity science (fetal origins of obesity and epigenetics), and the nature of desire in disordered eating. Megan is co-director of the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender and an International Fellow of the Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity (UBVO) at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.

When: Wednesday, 13th of April, 1-2 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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