8th Annual Weight Stigma Conference

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FYI. BSA 2020 – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies


British Sociological Association 2020 Annual Conference

Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies
21–23 April 2020

Aston University, Birmingham, UK

The theme for the 2020 Annual Conference is – Reimagining Social Bodies: Self, Institutions and Societies.  The conference will take place at Aston University, Birmingham from 21–23 April 2020.

We are delighted to announce our confirmed Plenary Speakers are:

  • Susan Halford, University of Bristol (BSA President)
  • Monica G Moreno Figueroa, University of Cambridge
  • Austerity Panel: Sylvia Walby, City University of London (Chair); Akwugo Emejulu, University of Warwick; Kayleigh Garthwaite, University of Birmingham; Guy Standing, SOAS University of London; Wanda Wyporska, The Equality Trust

The body has an interesting and contested role in sociological thinking and research. At times it has been seen as irrelevant to understanding key issues of structure and social positioning; while at other times framed as central to thinking about dynamics of interaction, identity formation and practices of regulation and control. In contrast, in contemporary examinations of the body a core agenda is to bring together questions of the everyday, with understanding key societal issues around how citizenship, entitlement, boundaries, marginalisation and exclusion operate. Therefore, ‘the body’ is currently examined in a multitude of ways and is itself pluralised to engage with the importance of thinking about varied types and understandings of what constitutes and distinguishes diverse bodies. Bodies are being explored in order to think about many aspects of the impact of inequalities, institutions, cultural practices, social values and norms, and discriminatory dynamics on individuals and groups.

Contemporary explorations of bodies generate a broad range of potential thematic questions for the conference in 2020. These include, but are not restricted to: What role are bodies playing in current disputes over who is a citizen in different global locations and who has the right to cross state boundaries? Does the concept of the ‘social body’ retain validity in contexts of fragmented identities and fractured ties to the state? Looking at issues such as disability and age, how important are bodies as vehicles for citizenship rights and welfare entitlement? What do contemporary disputes over gender and the body say about the intersection of medical, scientific and political classifications in establishing legitimate bodies’? In what ways do bodies play into intersectional dynamics of inequality and marginalisation? How important are bodies in understanding some of the costs of long-term austerity?

The BSA Annual Conference is the primary annual conference for sociology in the UK with opportunities for everyone connected to the discipline.

More info


FYI. CFP: Special Issue of Fat Studies on Public Health and Healthism


Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society on Public Health and Healthism

Fatness has been and still is seen as a major Public Health problem on a global scale – an understanding that contributes much to the discrimination and social exclusion of fat people and has led to a plethora of Public Health campaigns, programs and government measures to change people’s lifestyles and reduce the weight of populations. Simultaneously, a part of the Public Health community stresses the harmful effects of fat stigma, recognizing it as an independent health threat and proposes a focus on fitness rather than on weight loss.

While the community disputes the right strategy to better public health, others have pointed to the pervasiveness and normativity of health as a modern ideal. At a time when the boundaries of health become increasingly blurred, being healthy and constantly seeking health  and wellbeing is regarded as a prime ability of citizenship. Therefore, healthism does not only encourage moral evaluations of bodily self-conduct and legitimize interventions into fat people’s bodies and lives. It also forms a normative ideal that seems ineluctable in fat-positive communities as well. Who would not want to be healthy, not only with regard to citizenship recognition but also with regard to individual wellbeing and the absence of pain and ailment?

This special issue of Fat Studies on Public Health and Healthism seeks to discuss the conundrum of health and offer an interdisciplinary look at the nexus of health and fatness in Public Health discourses and practices, with a particular focus on the consequences of healthism for fat people and possible responses to it

Proposed topics might include, but are not limited to:

–    Historical and contemporary practices of evaluating health and fatness

–    Health Care bias and lacking access to health care for fat people

–    “Globesity” and the effect of healthism on development policies and making a global order

–    Negative health effects of fat stigma

–    Alternatives to the current treatment of fat bodies by the Public Health community

–    Health at Every Size, and definitions and practices of health that do not focus on weight-loss

–    Realignment of the right to health and the right to fatness

–    Critiques of health as a normative ideal

Guest Editors:

Friedrich Schorb, University of Bremen, Germany, schorb@uni-bremen.de

Nina Mackert, University of Leipzig, Germany, nina.mackert@uni-leipzig.de

with the Scientific Network (DFG) “Fat Studies: Doing, Becoming and Being Fat.”


To be included in this special issue, please send a 300-400 word proposal and a current CV to both guest editors by February 1, 2020. Any questions should be emailed to the guest editors.

Contributors will be notified of the status of their proposal by March 1, 2020. Full manuscripts, including all notes and references, should be between 3,000 and 5,500 words and will be due by July 1, 2020. If you wish to include reproductions of visual images with your article, please provide documentation of permission to do so from the artists/copyright holders of the image(s). All authors will need to sign a form that transfers copyright of their article to the publisher, Taylor & Francis / Routledge.

Fat Studies is the first academic journal in the field of scholarship that critically examines theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and appearance. Content includes original research and overviews exploring the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Articles critically examine representations of fat in health and medical sciences, the Health at Every Size model, the pharmaceutical industry, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, legal issues, literature, pedagogy, art, theater, popular culture, media studies, and activism.

Fat Studies is an interdisciplinary, international field of scholarship that critically examines societal attitudes and practices about body weight and appearance. Fat Studies advocates equality for all people regardless of body size. It explores the way fat people are oppressed, the reasons why, who benefits from that oppression and how to liberate fat people from oppression. Fat Studies seeks to challenge and remove the negative associations that society has about fat and the fat body. It regards weight, like height, as a human characteristic that varies widely across any population. Fat Studies is similar to academic disciplines that focus on race, ethnicity, gender, or age.

FYI. UK-based funding: Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind


A new cross-council partnership between the MRC, AHRC, and ESRC to support in multidisciplinary research and innovation in Adolescence, Mental Health and the Developing Mind.

Funded by £1.6m call for engagement awards to support the formation of new collaborations, pilot funding for novel multidisciplinary research or methods development, and kick start knowledge exchange between researchers, stakeholders, policy makers, young people and those with lived experience of mental health problems.: More info

Deadline: 4pm, 17 Dec 2019

Facilitated workshops in London on 22nd November available for interested research communities and stakeholders: More info

Deadline for expression of interest to attend: 4pm, 31 Oct 2019

FYI. New UK–Canada doctoral exchange scheme


UK-Canada Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme

This new scheme from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI – previously Research Councils) and Mitacs will allow up to 200 doctoral candidates from the UK, and a similar number from Canada, to take a 12-week research placement. The scheme will cover  travel, living and research costs. The scheme is open to UKRI-funded and Canadian doctoral students in all academic fields.

More info (UK doctoral students)

More info (Canadian doctoral students)

Deadline: 19 December 2019

FYI. ERC Consolidator Grants

FYI. Note: Can include researchers in any location (although PI must be Europe-based or associated).

European Research Council call for Consolidator Grants expected to open 24th October, 2019. For researchers of any nationality 7-12 yrs post-PhD. Any field of research eligible.

Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to € 2 million for a period of 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional € 1 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities and/or other major experimental and field work costs.

More info

FYI. ISRF flexible grants for small groups


The Independent Social Research Foundation wishes to support independent-minded researchers to explore and present original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems. Such work would be unlikely to be funded by existing funding bodies.

The Foundation intends to award on a competitive basis, to candidates of sufficient merit, a small number of grants providing flexible support (for instance: relief from teaching and/or administration, research and travel expenses, fieldwork and practical work) for a period of (up to) one year for the activities of a small research group.

The awards are intended as enabling one or more short periods of face-to-face joint group work such as workshops, working-in-pairs, or short academic visits (e-working, video-conferencing or Skype expenses are not included) over a period of up to one year, and must be taken up (i.e. commence) no later than end of December 2020.

The amount of an award depends on the nature of the work proposed and individual circumstances – the ISRF expects applications for grants up to a maximum of £5,000 or €5,500.*

Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply as Principal Investigator(s) to lead a small group of 2-10 scholars (which may include graduate students).  Principal applicants should hold a PhD and will normally have a permanent appointment at an institution of higher education and research. Applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is part-time equivalent. Independent scholars with an academic affiliation may also apply.

Applicants should consult the Criteria as set out in the Further Particulars and show that they meet them. Applicants should follow the Application procedure and should present their Proposal in the format specified there.

Closing date for applications is 4pm (GMT) on 8th November 2019.

*Applicants based in the UK must apply in GBP (£). All other applicants must apply in EUR (€). These amounts are fixed as of 21st September 2019, and will not be adjusted in the event of GBP/EUR currency fluctuations.

More information

FYI. Postdoctoral fellowship program at NYU


Note on eligibility: NYU does not sponsor visa application for this Fellowship. Fellowship recipients must provide proof of authorization to work in the United States.

New York University’s Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was created to attract and support a wide range of brilliant young scholars and educators from diverse backgrounds whose research experience, life experience, and employment background can significantly contribute to academic excellence. The program provides fellows with faculty mentoring, professional development, and academic networking opportunities. The ultimate goal of the program is for participants to join the ranks of faculty at competitive institutions.

NYU awards up to eight in-residence fellowships each year. Appointments are for two years and begin in September. Fellows teach a maximum of one course per semester, participate in school and departmental activities, and are assigned a mentor to prepare them for a career in academia. Teaching at another institution and outside employment during the fellowship is prohibited.

Starting in 2017, the Fellowship Program offered a second mechanism that allows Schools to bring in additional fellows, under the title of “Dean’s Fellow.” Fellows in this category will be given access to the same professional support run through the Provost’s Office. Participating schools award Dean’s fellowship to outstanding candidates from the applicant pool for the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Fellows are appointed as “Faculty Fellow” and receive a $42,000 nine-month salary; an annual housing allowance ($20,000); a research allowance ($2,000); and reimbursement for one-time relocation fees (up to $3,000). Such compensation is subject to appropriate taxation. The University also provides a benefits package, including medical and dental coverage.

Deadline: 28 October, 2019

More information

FYI. Visiting Fellow Progrmme, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

From fat studies scholar Hannele Harjunen:
Call for CRISES Visiting Fellow Programme for Post Doctoral Researchers, Associate Professors and Professors. Crises are pretty loosely defined and could include many different types of fat-related topics.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, opens a call for the Visiting Fellow Programme in Crises Redefined – Historical Continuity and Societal Change (CRISES) research profiling area. The program offers grants from 1 to 3.5 month visits.
CRISES is one of the thematic research areas that profiles research activities at the University of Jyväskylä. The CRISES profiling area builds on the core strengths of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, including multidisciplinary focus and ability to analyze societal change and historical continuity in long-term and transnational perspectives. The main objective of the research within CRISES profiling area is to understand various (often competing and contested) definitions of crisis: how crises come about and how they evolve; how they are defined and understood; and how they relate to global, national, and local physical environments and human action. The complexity of the topic is tackled not only by drawing on the existing empirical, theoretical, and methodological expertise of the researchers in art, culture, ethnology, history, politics, social sciences, and philosophy but also, by charting new approaches to crises, including testing and comparing different methods of Digital Humanities and Social Sciences.
Focusing on year 2020 CRISES profiling area is launching a Fellowship Programme for international research visitors. The applicants to this program are expected to study themes such as:
  • Historical approaches to economic and societal crises, business failures and industry decline
  • Political and politicized crises in historical and contemporary perspective
  • Belonging, inclusion, exclusion and displacement: individual, social and cultural contexts of crises
There are several researchers working in the CRISES profiling area in the University of Jyväskylä. We are looking forward to tightening co-operation network in research and teaching with the visiting program scholars in the future.
The duration of the Visiting Fellow Program is 1-3.5 months during the year 2020.
The visitors are paid a tax-free grant, which amount is depending on the career stage of the Visiting Fellow:
  • 3.000 euros/month for Post Doctoral Researchers,
  • 4.500 euros/month for Associate Professors and
  • 5.500 euros/month for Professors.
The above mentioned grant will cover also
  • Travel expenses to and from Jyväskylä, Finland.
  • Accommodation expenses either in the university’s guest apartments or in a free market apartment
Thus travel and accommodation will not be payed separately. The University of Jyväskylä offers support if you wish to book university’s guest apartment for your stay.
You may want to familiarize yourself with the university’s international staff guide https://www.jyu.fi/en/workwithus/international-staff-guide for more information about Jyväskylä and Finland.
Leave your application via an electronic form by Friday, November 1st 2019 by 16:00 hours. In your application you will be asked to
  1. describe how your research reinforces CRISES profiling area, including a short research plan
  2. attach your CV and Publication List
  3. give the approximate time and length of your visit
  4. tell if you are visiting the University of Jyväskylä alone or with your family (needed to arrange a suitable apartment if you wish to book university’s guest apartment).
For more information please contact Professor Jari Ojala, e-mail jari.ojala@jyu.fi, tel +358 400 247 387 (information about CRISES profiling area) or Head of Administration Riitta Sokka, e-mail riitta.r.sokka@jyu.fi, tel +358 40 805 5182 (information about the practical matters).
The selection criteria are
  1. the scientific quality of the applicant and research plan;
  2. the connection to the CRISES profiling area research interests
  3. interdisciplinarity.

FYI: Grad student position in social psych/stigma lab


Posted on behalf of Dr Jeff Hunger:

Applying to grad school in social psych? Interested in mental and physical health? Join me in the Hunger Stigma & Health (HuSH) Lab, Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Application deadline: December 1st 2019. More information about the programme available at: http://miamioh.edu/cas/academics/departments/psychology/academics/graduate-studies/social-program/

Application deadline: December 1st 2019


FYI. Opportunity for UK-based arts/humanities researchers


This amazing collaboration between the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the BBC offers phenomenal opportunities for early career researchers to develop as media personalities presenting their research to the general public. It is aimed at Early Career Researchers (late-stage PhD to 8-years post-PhD). Applicants must be doing research with a primary focus in the arts and humanities, or be cross-disciplinary including a strong arts and humanities component.

More info: https://ahrc.ukri.org/funding/apply-for-funding/current-opportunities/new-generation-thinkers-2020/

Deadline: 8 October 2019