Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Shari J. Stenberg

Second Advisor

Stacey Waite

Third Advisor

Rachael Shah

Date of this Version



Knudsen, Celie J. Writing Fat: Rejecting the Logics of Anti-Fatness in the Teaching of Writing. 2022. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Master's thesis.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Shari J. Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2022.

Copyright © 2022 Celie J. Knudsen


This thesis examines the ways that anti-fat logics shape the instruction of first-year writing. Through an analysis of several texts used in first-year writing classrooms, I show how anti-fatness infiltrates the language and ideas we use to talk about student writing through the prioritization of concepts such as concision and compactness. I use the notion of excess to illustrate the possibilities that are lost when we understand student writing as a body that must move from fat to thin. Through the application of feminist theory, queer theory, disability studies, fat studies, and rhetorical theory, I explore who and what is served when anti-fat logics influence first-year writing instruction. Finally, I forward the idea of writing fat, a way of allowing and encouraging the excessive as a necessary component of student texts, as an alternative to the anti-fat logics currently undergirding first-year writing instruction.

Advisor: Shari J. Stenberg