Charlotte Cooper, a fat activist with more than 30 years experience, lifts the lid on a previously unexplored social movement and offers a fresh perspective on one of the major problems of our times. In her expansive, intelligent grassroots study she:
- Reveals details of fat activist methods and approaches
- Features extensive accounts of 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
Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement is a rare instance of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms. The book is the result of Charlotte's community-based doctoral research.
‘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
'In public discourse the voices of people who would be identified as obese are rarely heard. Enter Charlotte Cooper, researcher, performer, and therapist who has devoted most of her adult life to fat activism. Her book is a personal account of the fat activist movement. Cooper defines fat activism as “cultural work”. She critiques ideas about body positivity and a “monolithic ideal of trite self love”, and calls out careerist researchers for “reproducing fat people as fascinating but passive specimens.” Cooper guides the reader into a fertile place of growth a million miles from timebombs and epidemics, and gives a human face to a large segment of the population who are too often dehumanised.' Tanya Glyde, review of Fat Activism in The Lancet
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