5/8 Michaela Appeltová @ Disability Studies Workshop

The Disability Studies workshop is proud to present:


Michaela Appeltová

PhD Candidate in History

University of Chicago

The Fat Socialist Body: Anti-Obesity Discourses and Dieting Practices in Late Socialist Czechoslovakia

Cobb Hall, Room 430 (note new room)

May 8th, 12:30-1:50

Light lunch will be provided



The paper, to be read for discussion, is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U56rleACoCb8cKYlfaYYKO8FAElwsEMI/view?u....


Abstract: Arguments about "obesity epidemic” in Czechoslovakia caught on at the start of the post-Stalinist transformation in the early 1960s as experts sought to assert the legitimacy of their expertise and control popular practices. They quickly became linked with anxieties about socialist modernization. Over the next two decades, anti-obesity and slimness discourses were promoted to manage consumption and cultivate appropriate bodily habits - fit, healthy, able, and aesthetically pleasing bodies became attributes of socialist subjects, and symbols in the Cold War competition with the West. Targeted largely at women, the anti-obesity discourse both acknowledged women’s interests in appearance and essentialized it, furthering the heteronormative framework of Czechoslovak late socialism.


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All Disability Studies Workshop events are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, events this quarter will be hosted in Cobb Hall, Room 430.  (Returning participants, please note this quarter's location!)  Cobb Hall is wheelchair-accessible; a map showing routes and elevators is available at https://maps.uchicago.edu/location/cobb-lecture-hall/accessibility/ .  If there are other ways we can make the event accessible to you, please let us know.


Contact Shruti Vaidya (shrutiv@uchicago.edu) or Matthew Borus (mgborus@uchicago.edu) with any questions or concerns.