Writing the History of Fat Agency

Mackert, Nina

The article takes up current scholarship on fat history and outlines three aspects of fat history as a critical “history of the present.” Firstly, it points to a crucial shift in the politics of fat at the end of the 19th century. In the course of fat becoming a biopolitical vanishing point, fighting fat became an intersectional terrain for individuals to perform their ability to conduct themselves successfully. Secondly, it stresses the fruitfulness of dis/ability studies for a critique of fatphobia’s reiteration of an unattainable ideal of able, healthy, and productive bodies. Thirdly, the author critically discusses problems and promises of writing histories of agency and suggests an engagement with the agency of matter.


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Mackert, Nina: Writing the History of Fat Agency. 2016.

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