Guest Post: Katie Koumatos on Two Upcoming Women’s Issues Conferences

On the west coast, we hear that New York City has everything. As a newly minted resident of Queens, I am beginning to see evidence that this might actually be true. This month there are two inexpensive and impressive conferences on women’s issues happening in the area and I can’t wait to attend.

Interested in the dynamic nature of discourse surrounding the female body? Want to learn and talk about how these ideas intersect with topics like health, race, law and education? Then you should attend Breaking Boundaries: Body Politics & the Dynamics of Difference. This conference is being held this coming weekend at Sarah Lawrence College. It is free and open to the public but you must register on the website. The conference runs Friday, March 4th from 6pm-8pm and Saturday, March 5th from 10am-6pm (there is an optional $10 luncheon on Saturday). The conference features keynote speaker Marilyn Wann, author of Fat?So!, prominent Fat Activist, and all around phenomenal speaker.

Concerned about the cultural constructs that stop women from accepting their bodies? I am too. That’s why I am attending the international summit, Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body on March 18th and 19th. Hosted by the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, this incredible educational opportunity will be held at The New School. Featuring international speakers from a wide range of backgrounds, this summit consists of several complex and carefully crafted panels where speakers are discussing the “toxic culture that teaches women and girls to hate their bodies” and the way they are facing this challenge in their respective fields. The summit runs 6pm-9pm on Friday, March 18th and 8am-8pm on Saturday, March 19th. Registration requires some level of body activist donation (the least expensive option is $20).

I will be attending both conferences with a fellow fat studies scholar from the NYU School of Social Work and we would love to have you join us. Feel free to email for my contact information.


Katie Koumatos, a transplant from Northern California, has just started her education at NYU this semester. She is trained in anthropology and studies the burgeoning fat activist movement and the discourse that occurs at the intersection of fat, food, and shame. She is greatly interested in collaborative work and would welcome contact from scholars interested in Fat Studies.

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