Susan Stinson's recent post about the fat literature and documented activism that means so much to her has struck a chord in me.
I've been reading a lot of recent publications critiquing the obesity epidemicTM, and calling for recognition of Fat Studies. What strikes me is the absence, in many of these works, of books like Shadow on A Tightrope, Shelley Bovey's earlier pre-diet work, often my book, Fat & Proud, too. This really bothers me because these books changed my life.
I'm wondering if there might be a process of erasure going on now that academics are taking fat experience more seriously. I suspect that scholars, myself included, are trying to make a name for themselves in the early stages of this field, which may involve minimising the substantial body of work that has gone before.
I'm hoping that this apparent erasure of fat women's voices is not because of poor research, or arrogance. I know that my own book is catalogued in libraries under the term "overweight" rather than the more depressingly zeitgeisty "obese," perhaps this is part of the reason it's not getting picked up so much in these new collections, despite being well ahead of the pack when it was published ten years ago.
It's upsetting that these works, and more, are not getting the recognition they deserve. These are important and pioneering books.