April HerndonThe Winona State University CLASP Lecture Series will present “Fat Blame: Questioning the Weapons of the War on Obesity” with April Herndon at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Stark Auditorium 103.

The presentation will focus on questionable practices that are part of the “war on obesity” in the U.S., including the removal of children from homes, denying large women reproductive procedures like in vitro fertilization treatments, performing weight loss surgeries on adolescents and children, and public health campaigns that feature fat children and their parents.

Herndon will present research from her recently published book Fat Blame: How the War on Obesity Victimizes Women and Children (May 2014 University of Kansas Press) and argue that these “commonsense” approaches are actually harmful to the very people they purport to help. Herndon will also argue how these practices are impractical, ineffective, and can be seen as part of a much longer history of social and medical policies that have been harmful to women and children.

Herndon has a Ph.D. in American Studies and teaches in the English Department at WSU. Her work in the field of Fat Studies has been published in journals such as The National Women’s Studies Association Journal; Food, Culture, and Society; and Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. “Fat Blame” is her first book. Reviewers have called the book “transformative” in its approach to understanding the war on obesity as harmful to already marginalized populations. Herndon is originally from Appalachia but now calls Winona home.

For more information, contact Matthew Bosworth at MBosworth@winona.edu.

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