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Up To Date

The Cultural History Of Flab

Museo del Prado, Madrid

We crave its taste but not its look.  What’s up with our love-hate relationship with fat?

Friday on Up to Date we unravel the twisted history of flab.  From a sign of richness to a signal of rot and ruin, society’s interpretation of fat has included racism, status, beauty and health.  We can’t live without it, but have we learned how to live with it?

Steve Kraske talks with University of Kansas history professor Christopher Forth about the cultural history of flab.

What's your perception of fat? Does society obsess about obesity? Join the conversation: call 816 235 2888 during the show, post below, email uptodate@kcur.org, Tweet us @KCURUptoDate, or join KCUR's Facebook discussion.

Christopher Forth is Professor of History and holds the Howard Chair of Humanities & Western Civilization as well as a Courtesy Professorship in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. His research and teaching interests revolve around the cultural history of gender, sexuality, the body, and the senses (with an emphasis on modern France, Britain and America) as well as European intellectual and cultural history. Forth is the author or editor of eight books, including The Dreyfus Affair and the Crisis of French Manhood (2004), Masculinity in the Modern West (2008), and the co-edited volumes French Masculinities (2007) and Confronting Modernity in Fin-de-Siècle France (2010). Co-director of the Hall Center “Modernities” seminar, Forth taught for ten years at the Australian National University before taking up his current position at KU in 2008. He is an affiliate of the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland (Australia).

Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at <a href="mailto:Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org">Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org</a>.
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.