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Title: “Abandon fat all ye who enter here!”: (Dis)ordering the Male Body, c.1800-1910
Authors: Coar, Lisa
Supervisors: Brock, Claire
North, Julian
Award date: 1-Feb-2015
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: ‘For the convenience of the public’, declared the author of an 1889 article printed in Punch, ‘I would really suggest that the motto for ordinary busses should be, “Abandon fat, all ye who enter here!”’ Such pressing ‘abandonments’, as facetious as they might seem, were, in fact, patently central in shaping (meta)physical ideals, throughout much of the long nineteenth century. The ideological structures underpinning numerous cultural strands – from the social and sporting, to the scientific and sartorial – espoused a fierce anorexic logic. They placed more emphasis on (in)corporeal discipline, compulsive (non)consumption, and (dis)embodied panopticism than ever before. Through adhering to its own idyllic prescriptions, nineteenth-century culture implemented varying strains of the bodily disorder it sought to expel. The cultural and corporeal orderliness it pursued became itself disorderly. Of course, there already exists a substantial amount of research focused on (dis)ordering the too fat or too thin bodies of the nineteenth-century female. With fleshly embodiment and dis-embodiment being stereotypical female concerns, we often forget to ask about the fat-phobic dis-corporation of men. Surveying a variety of textual material, printed roughly between the years 1800 and 1910, this thesis intends to reconfigure man’s peripheral status in modern histories of diet, disorderly eating and fat shame. Dismissing the timeworn myth that fat is, and always has been, ‘a feminist issue’, it will explore how fat, body-image, and an intense desire to be slender became increasingly central to ideal constructions of the nineteenth-century male.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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