‘Change the Conversation’ Body Image Discussed at Monmouth University

October 8, 2012
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WEST LONG BRANCH – Monmouth University is pleased to present the Diane Gooch Distinguished Visiting Lecture “Fasting Girls: Then and Now” with a question-and-answer session delivered by Cornell Professor Emerita Joan Jacobs Brumberg at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 in Wilson Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

Joan Jacobs Brumberg

Brumberg will discuss the historical roots of anorexia nervosa. Discovered in the late 19th century, the disorder has now become “contagious” and also more dangerous. Brumberg suggests that the burgeoning incidence of the disease in the last 30 years is due to complex transitions in the realm of sexuality and family life as well as in food, eating, exercise and the body.

Brumberg is a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow and professor emerita in history, human development and gender studies at Cornell University, where she has taught since 1979. In 1988, Professor Brumberg’s book Fasting Girls, a history of anorexia nervosa, won the John Hope Franklin Prize, the Berkshire Book Prize, the Eileen Basker Prize and the Watson Davis Prize. In 1998 The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls was selected by the American Library Association for a Choice Award and also for special notice by Voice of Youth Advocacy. She has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and a resident of the McDowell Colony.

“Fasting Girls: Then and Now” is part of a “Change the Conversation” initiative developed by Monmouth University Professor of Health Studies Andrea Hope. This year, in coordination with History Professor Katherine Parkin, Monmouth University will be hosting a week-long series of events.

Christmas Caramels to Kick Off the Season

Other events include:

Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 4:30 p.m, Plangere TV Studio, Performance Hauntings: Marking Flesh, Time, Memory by Tessa Carr and Monmouth University Professor Deanna Shoemaker. This collaborative performance explores themes of decay, loss, desire and transformative discovery through the aging female body. Using hula hoops, soundscapes from everyday life, photographs of two female-marked bodies embedded in lush natural settings, staged photographs of two women disguised in fantasy personas and live performance, Carr and Shoemaker theorize how loss of life, youth, culture, voice, visibility calls us deeply into the fragile present while simultaneously pulling us, willingly or unwillingly, into our haunted pasts and possible futures. Evocative and participatory, Hauntings invites audiences to meditate on the joys and terrors of living in the ephemeral, imagined and full present tense of here, now.

Additional activities supporting “Change the Conversation” include tabling in the student center, information, programming and fact sheets in the dining hall and residence life halls, film screening Someday Melissa and panel discussion, Zumba and yoga classes and a blog for students to anonymously record their thoughts and experiences with body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

For more information, call Monmouth University at 732-571-3526.


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