Date of Award


First Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Second Advisor

Milo Alvarez


It was a very sobering moment when I found the first two books for my thesis located in the disease section between a study on AIDS and a text on smallpox. At first I was in shock, but then I realized there was really no reason to be surprised. Both books are sociological exposés on our country’s cultural relationship with Fat, weight, and health, and certainly do not belong in the company of books that explore the scientific nature of disease. However, the cataloging system the Library of Congress bestowed upon my college does not recognize this difference; instead, it follows a system of keywords. Terms like Fat, weight, and obesity are inextricably linked to such words as disease, health, and epidemic. Almost every article, study, magazine, book, or product that references Fat discusses the potential for ill health and disease. It would only make sense that books dedicated solely to the study of Fat would warrant placement in the disease section of the library.

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