Hosted by author and activist Joshna Maharaj (Take Back the Tray), the event will consist of presentations by Aries Hines, Dorothee Jankuken, May Lui , LiANA –LC Di Marco, Sucharita Sarkar, Alys Einion , Cat Pausé, Liis Windischmann and Jill Andrew. Guests will be encouraged to share and ask questions through the chat boxes on both ZOOM and/or YouTube. The evening will also be livestreamed on Ryerson’s SJE YouTube page. We hope you can join us!
Edited by Jill Andrew and May Friedman, Body Stories captures a nuanced, interconnected, interactive and complex telling of our understanding, perception and experience of and through our bodies. Plenty has been published on body image but image suggests a static fixed body unmitigated through our social interactions and varying times and spaces. This book is not a “how-to” guide for fat confidence. It’s not a compendium of fat suffering. It’s simply a collection of narratives about what it’s like to survive in a weight-hating world. It resists the ways that marginalized bodies are being written and researched and put into other people’s ideas about our existence.
The stories in this book are celebratory and are painful. They look at intersections of race and queerness; they destabilize womanhood by presenting a range of possible female embodiments. They explore issues of disability and madness. The full range of possibilities that are collected here give a picture of what it means to live in a society with strong and powerful messages about size, about normalcy, about what a moral and healthy life and body look like.
This book is a snapshot of its place and time, but these stories remind us that we’re here to stay. The body stories will change but we will keep owning our own narratives. While story, especially written by women, is often seen as outside the academic canon, these stories, these creative offerings, are theory, are research, and are activism. They are nothing less than the blueprint for liberation. Writing about fat and about bodies outside of medicalized narratives, without ignoring the impact of race, sexuality, class, ability, gender, fashion, appearance and beyond, is radical and rigorous.
About the Editors
Dr. Jill Andrew’s PhD “Put Together”: Black Women’s Body Stories in Toronto: (AD)Dressing Identity and the Threads that Bind explores the ‘trifecta’ of racism, sexism, fat hatred and their accommodation/resistance through fashion, activism, self-valuation & social interactions. Jill co-founded Body Confidence Canada, #SizeismSUCKS
and is a politician NDP MPP Toronto-St.Paul’s.
May Friedman’s research looks at unstable identities, including bodies that do not conform to traditional racial and national or aesthetic lines. Most recently much of May’s research has focused on intersectional approaches to fat studies considering the multiple and fluid experiences of both fat oppression and fat activism. May works at Ryerson University as a faculty member in the School of Social Work and in the Ryerson/York graduate program in Communication and Culture.