BREAKING BOUNDARIES conference schedule announced

BREAKING BOUNDARIES: Body Politics & the Dynamics of Difference
A Conference at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York (15 minutes north of Manhattan)

Friday – Saturday March 4 – 5, 2011
Free and Open to the Public
Keynote Speaker: Marilyn Wann Fat Activist and Author of Fat!So?

When it comes to “the body,” the definition of normal is fluid and changes across cultures and time. In each context, there are those who have been exploited and oppressed because they do not fit prevailing notions of beauty.

What are the dominant narratives and perceptions about beauty and bodies? How do these perceptions affect public policy around issues of health, civil rights, education, and accessibility? How do those whose bodies do not fit into the “proper” cultural norms challenge attitudes, laws, and perceptions? How have they negotiated for and found power in unwelcoming environments, both now and in the past? How do the categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and disability complicate prevailing ideas about embodiment? Are there and have there been communities and cultures that have welcomed those whose bodies are currently perceived as deviant in dominant popular discourse? And what is the relationship between promoting and continuing the dominant discourse and capitalist consumer culture? This conference will explore the body politics around those with “deviant” bodies.

Preliminary Schedule
(subject to change)
Unless otherwise noted, all events take place in the Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Visual Arts Center.

Friday, March 4, 2011
4:30 – 8 p.m., Heimbold Lobby

6 – 8 p.m., Heimbold 202
Opening Plenary

Welcome: Tara James, Associate Director, Graduate Program in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College

Keynote Address: Marilyn Wann, Fat Activist and Author of Fat!So?

8 – 10:30 p.m., Slonim Living Room
Opening Reception
Evening of Spoken Word
featuring Maria James-Thiaw The Wordaholic, author of Rising Waters

Saturday, March 5, 2011

8:30 – 10 a.m., Heimbold Lobby

Breakfast Reception (Free)
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Heimbold Lobby

10 – 11:45 a.m., Heimbold 202

Plenary Session

Opening Remarks: Rona Holub, Co-Director, Graduate Program in Women’s History, Sarah Lawrence College

Plenary Panel

Kathleen LeBesco, Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY
Fatness and the Self-Governing Citizen: Health, Morality, and Ideology

Susan Schwiek, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
The Ugly Laws and After

Zoe Spencer, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
The Sexualized Body Politics of African American Women: From Enslavement to Hip Hop

Noon – 1 p.m., Heimbold Lobby
Lunch Break Art Exhibit

Jayne Mansfield’s Dog, New Drawings by Erin Finley, Ontario College of Art and Design, Ontario, Canada

1 – 2:30 p.m., Breakout Session I

Inclusion/Exclusion: Explorations in Movement
Dance Faculty, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Kathryn Westwater
Peggy Gould
Emily Devine

(Please wear appropriate athletic shoes, no boots.)


Tonisha Taylor, City College of New York, New York, NY
Hottentot Venus to Video Vixen: An Analysis of the Image of Black Women as Hypersexual Beings

Adam Newman, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
“Why Can’t Jews with Polio Play Indian?”: Disability and Racial Performance in Philip Roth’s Nemesis

William Peace, Independent Scholar, Garrison, NY
The Dialectics of Stigma: From Independence to Dependency and Back

Issues in Fat Studies

Cayce Canipe, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
Slender Trouble

Ellen Cox, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY
The Color of Fat: Interrogating Race in Fat Studies

Kristen Sutherland, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Transforming the Obese Body: (Bio) Medicalization and the False Promise of Bariatric Surgery

Alexandra Soiseth, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Choosing Me: Reflections on a Shifting Self-Image

Round-Table Discussion

Elsa E. Sjunneson, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Performing Obscenity: Burlesque and American Obscenity Law

Julie Vogt, Colby Sawyer College, New London, NH
Pirate Feminism: Burlesque and the Exploitation/Empowerment Binary

Magdalen Jenne, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Never Give Everything Away

Jessica Giusti, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN
Fat Femme Falling: Neo-Burlesque and the Queer Politics of Failure

Heather Lang, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Big (Fat) Burlesque Backlash: Burlesque Bodies as Rhetorical Agents of Social Change

2:45 – 4:15 p.m., Breakout Session II

Body Politics on Film

Katrina Brown, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Feminisms and Pornography in Documentaries

Heike Steinhoff, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany
Dissecting the Norm?: Plastic Surgery, Deviant Bodies, and the Politics of the Monstrous in Nip/Tuck

Jackie Wykes, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
“Is This Really What You Want?”: Negotiating Choice and Resistance in Huge

Body Image and the Collective Imagination in Early 21st Century America
Carol Polcovar, Founding Director, All Out Arts’ Fresh Fruit Festival, New York, NY

Constructing Women

Ashley Lawson, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
The Cyborg as a Site of (Re)construction of the Feminine

Natalie Rose, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
From Criminal to Girl Next Door: Depictions of Mormon Women’s Bodies

Brittany Chevalier, Independent Scholar, New York, NY
Body Empowerment: Women’s Political Freedom and the Shifting Ideals of Beauty

Round-Table Discussion
Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetics of the Non-Normative Body

Jennifer Bartlett, Poet and Lecturer, Brooklyn, NY
Sheila Fiona Black, Poet, Las Cruces, NM
Michael Northern, Poet, Pennsauken, NJ

4:30 – 6 p.m., Breakout Session III

The Price of Beauty

Amanda Czerniawski, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Behind the Fat Catwalk: The Backstage Aesthetic Labor Process of Plus-Size Fashion Models

Meredith Dault, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
The Last Triangle: Sex, Money, and the Politics of Pubic Hair

Caroline Biggs, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Restricted: Women’s Roles and Waistlines after the Second World War

Lori Rotskoff, Barnard Center for Research on Women, New York, NY
From “Daughters of Maybelline” to “Sisters of Freedom”: Second-Wave Feminism, Girls’ Activism, and the Politics of Feminine Beauty in the US

The Cultural Politics of Fat Bodies: The Art and Rhetoric of Intersecting Identities

Stefanie Snider, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Embodiment and In/Visibility in Contemporary Photographic Self-Portraits

Kristin Kurzawa, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Fat Femmes Framed: Censorship and Celebration of Queer Femme Photography

Sheana Director, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
Invisible Fatness and The Fat Menace: Fat Bodies and Disidentification

Zoë Meleo-Erwin, CUNY Graduate Center, Manhattan, NY
Queering the Linkages and Divergences: The Relationship Between Fatness and Disability and the Hope for a Livable World

Categorizing the Body

Katelyn Angell, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Charlotte Price, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
“Does this book make me look fat?”: Information Bias and Body Image in Academia

Peggy Gould, Dance Faculty, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
Transforming Rigid Notions of Human Normalcy: Dynamic Images and Poetics in the Field of Functional Anatomy from 1926 to the Present

Sara Hardwick, New York University, New York, NY
Fighting the Visual “War on Obesity”: Defacement, Invisibility, and Abjection in Weight-Related News Reporting

6 p.m., Heimbold Lobby

Closing Reception

For questions or additional information, contact:
Tara James, Associate Director Graduate Program in Women’s History – (914) 395-2405

2 thoughts on “BREAKING BOUNDARIES conference schedule announced

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.