New class at Princeton University fights “Fat Phobia,” celebrates obesity

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Princeton University’s prestigious Lewis Center for the Arts will be teaching a course on fat phobia this fall.

According to a new course guideline from the Lewis Center, “FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body,” will teach America’s most astute and intellectual college students an interesting conflation of not only obesity in this country, but also the art of dancing.

The course will be taught by Professor of Dance Judith Hamera. According to her profile from the Lewis Center’s Dance Faculty, Hamera’s research focuses on “the social work of aesthetics, especially play with genre conventions for self-fashioning and community building on and off stage.

The Ivy League students will focus on the “discourses and politics around the fat body from a performance studies perspective,” per the course outline. Although this class is a part of the dance department, it seems much more like a liberally-biased political science course. Students will also study the “meanings of using dance, performance, and media texts as key case studies.”

The curriculum most likely will deviate from meaningful, important facts concerning obesity in society, including the facts that America has the highest rate of obesity in North America and ranks 12th in the world in terms of obese adults. Instead, the undergraduates will discuss how the concept of fat is a “liberating counter performance.”

One of the most excruciating details regarding this forthcoming course is the almost cringe-worthy reading requirements forced upon students. According to the “sample reading list,” students will be obligated to read Fat Politics by Eric Oliver, Second Skin: Josephine Baker & the Modern Surface by Anne Cheng, Fat Talk Nation by Susan Greenhalgh, The Fat Studies Reader by Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay, Queering Fat Embodiment by Cat Pause, et. al, and Fat Shame by Amy Erdman Farrell.

via Princeton website

No prior dance experience is necessary, course prerequisites state. 

One of the most demoralizing elements of this course’s curriculum is the focus on the “intersectional dimensions of the fat body.” It’s asinine of the department to imply that discussions regarding obesity should correspond to that of discrimination, or civil injustice, as this type of comportment will only lead to a mentality of victimhood, not wait loss.

Dancing to reduce one’s weight is an applaudable venture, however not one Princetonian will exit this course with a thinner waste line, better dance skills, or a true understanding in the American obesity epidemic.


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