fitness · Guest Post · health · illness · injury

Keeping Fit While Healing from Hysterectomy, Part 2 (The Lifting Edition)

It is now nearly 10 weeks after my complete, laparoscopic hysterectomy, and I figure it’s about time for an update on my progress! When I last wrote, it had been about a month, and I was working on following my own fitness plan. (If you haven’t read that post, you can find it here.) My goals at that time were to do what I could to maintain healthy habits and to preserve as much strength as I could without compromising healing. The plan was to do a bands-based resistance program and daily walking. Today, I’ll discuss some overall impressions and get into the weeds a bit about where I’m at with lifting. I’ll do a separate post about my ongoing efforts to return to running.

So, how did the plan go?

During that first month of exercises (post-op weeks 3-6), my strength and endurance varied quite a bit from day to day. Some days I felt great and had to force myself to keep things easy, other days, all I could handle was lifting up and washing the dishes in the sink. I did my best to honor the time I needed to rest. There was one week when I seemed tired all the time, and I wasn’t sure if that meant I’d been overdoing it or if it was something else going on. I rested a few days, and then I returned to my resistance bands and walking but with reduced volume. For several days there, I was tired before I got started but found that a little movement helped my mood and energized me, which reinforced that those were the right decisions.

For the most part, pain continued to not be a major concern. I had some discomfort for sure, but it was most often a generalized achiness, especially on the right side of my abdomen, rather than sharp pains. Bending over at the waist and pushing/pulling heavy objects were the most-limited movements, giving me the immediate feedback that I was still healing inside. Sometimes I thought some activity I’d done had exacerbated the aches, but plenty of times I couldn’t correlate the pain to any particular increase in activity.

The only time I had severe pain, it was while I was out wandering through a neighborhood garage sale with my husband. I hadn’t done anything strenuous in the previous 24 hours or so, and suddenly, every step resulted in a tearing feeling in my side. It completely stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes. We very gingerly walked home, with shallow, baby steps so I wouldn’t jostle my insides any further, and I laid down on the sofa for the rest of the day. This happened to be only a couple days before the 6-week post-op appointment with my surgeon, so I mentioned it to her at that time. Her hypothesis was that it was “scar tissue disease” that had formed and was being pulled and separated again, causing the tearing feeling I had. Her response to this surprised me–she advised me to stay as active as possible. She didn’t want scar tissue to limit my activities down the road, so the more I can prevent these tissues from sticking and forming together, the better off I’ll be long term.

Back to the gym
At that 6-week appointment, my doctor released me to “gradually return to regular activities.” She made it clear that she didn’t want me holding back too much, as that would slow down my progress. “You can’t hurt anything now,” she said after examining my vaginal sutures, which were apparently healing as expected. So, I left the appointment with her blessing to get back to the gym, to do all the stretching, twisting and bending that I felt ready to do.

I have been back to lifting for a little over 2 weeks now. I decided to go with a 4-day upper/lower split program that I’ve done before. I’ve modified the lifts to avoid undue abdominal pressure (no push-ups, planks, or similar poses). I wasn’t a great squatter before the surgery, but now I’ve gone back to light goblet squats just to parallel. I’m trying to feel out how my pelvic floor responds to the increased loading. As far as I can tell, it’s going ok, although honestly, there isn’t an obvious way to measure it.* My surgeon informed me that my pelvic floor was “more pliable than predicted,” given that I have never been pregnant. She did not know if this was due to my being a lifter or to my history of obesity. It’s not clear to me how careful I need to continue to be to protect my pelvic floor health going forward. And as discussed in the first post, there’s very few evidence-based resources out there to help people navigate this situation.

I’m lifting about 60% (in terms of both weight and volume) of what I was doing before surgery. My preferred programming is usually pretty high volume, and I hope to keep working on increasing it over the next few weeks. I started with 2-3 sets, and I plan on adding a set every couple of weeks until I’m back to doing 5 sets of the major lifts. Only after I get the volume up do I expect to progress the weights heavier again. I’ve dropped out almost all accessory lifts other than those I do to maintain mobility, and I’m focussing on the big, multijoint movements. Here’s how that looks:

Lower 1:
Goblet Squat, 1×6-8, lower weight by 10%, 2xAMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Leg Curl (Machine), 3×12-15
Offset Split Squat, 3×12-15
Monster Walks and lower body mobility work

Upper 1:
Upright Dumbbell Press, 1×6-8, lower weight by 10%, 2xAMRAP
Assisted Chin-up, 2×6-8, 1×10-12
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, 3×12-15
Cable Row, 3×15-20
shoulder mobility work

Lower 2:
Deadlift, 2×5-6, 1×8-10
Goblet Squat, 3×15-20
Pallof Press, 2×12-15
Alternating Reverse Lunge, 2×15-20
Monster walks and lower body mobility work

Upper 2:
Bench Press, 1×6-8, lower weight by 10%, 2xAMRAP
1-arm Dumbbell Row, 2×8-10, 1×12-15
Arnold Press, 3×15
Palms Down Cable Pulldown, 3×15
Dumbbell Lat Raise, 2xAMRAP (up to 20)
Dumbbell Reverse Fly, 2xAMRAP (up to 25)
shoulder mobility work

The mobility work is feeling especially important right now, as it seems like I’m stiff any time I’m not warmed up. I’m hoping that feeling will decrease as I get back to the rest of my usual routines and is not a new normal. I’m aware that I’m recovering from this surgery in my forties, and older lifters are frequently discussing the increased need for mobility work to keep lifting. I’ve never been sure how true that would be for me, since these folks are usually lifelong athletes, and I’m a relative noob. I have neither the benefit of a foundation of strength, nor the detriment of a lifetime of activity-related aches and pains.

So as far as the lifting part of my recovery plan goes, I’m feeling pretty good about it. The old advice to “lift nothing over 10 pounds,” clearly wasn’t the right advice for me. I was able to do more than that after the first two weeks of total rest, and I didn’t injure myself or create problems for my healing. Even still, my muscles are acting like I haven’t lifted in two months, and I was especially sore with lactic acid burn the first week back. It’s a bit disappointing to be so stiff and sore, given I was continuing to train in some fashion for most of the last couple months. However, I’m pleased that I kept it part of my routine, so that it usually does not feel hard to get myself to the gym–that moment of “ugh, do I really have the energy to do this?!” is less common than it might have been. It’s too early to know how the hysterectomy might impact my lifting options long term. I’m considering going back to the physical therapist to have her evaluate where I’m at, to see if there’s anything I’m missing as I continue to recover. Regardless, it’s clear to me from my experience that the typical lifting advice is more conservative than necessary, at least for some of us.

*Fun fact–in research, apparently they measure internal abdominal pressure by inserting a balloon up the rectum of test subjects. Then, when they do particular lifts, researchers can measure changes in the pressure upon the balloon. For the record, I will not be signing up for this, even in the interest of science!

Marjorie Hundtoft is a middle school science and health teacher. She can be found picking up heavy things and putting them down again in Portland, Oregon.

fitness · fitness classes · training · weight lifting

Fitness on the cheap: Sam joins a discount gym

Our group of regular bloggers is pretty privileged. Between us we pay for spin classes, CrossFit style studio memberships, rock climbing, coaches of all sorts, yoga classes, monthly access to indoor bike trainer facilities, Zwift memberships, personal training, and more. We try new things, like Orange Theory. I tell people I don’t have other hobbies and it’s my my form of recreation. But still, it’s costly.

(We’re not even going to talk about gear or clothing or bikes or boats, just the places we work out.)

Does fitness have to be expensive?

Recently I joined a discount gym. It’s not a chain fitness studio and it’s not $10 a month. But it’s close. It’s $20 a month and it’s open all the time, 24/7. I joined because I like to work out with my son sometimes and he’s got an all hours kind of schedule. It’s my personal trainer’s home gym and also the gym my physiotherapist goes to so I figured it must be okay.

What’s the price contrast? Let’s see, an hour of personal training costs twice as much as one month at the discount gym. A month at the gym costs the same as one session at the bike studio. Zwift is $15/month and that’s just a virtual world. You still need a bike and a trainer.

What I love so far:

  • When it’s staffed (regular hours) I can bring a friend anytime. It can be the same friend every time. And there is no pressure on them to join. After hours, there’s no staff and you use your card to get in. If you’re nervous, there are emergency call buttons on lanyards you can keep with you. 
  • It’s got every piece of workout equipment possible. It’s enormous. There are three big rooms and one is set up CrossFit style with room for ropes, tires, etc. There’s a sled to push and pull. There’s also a fitness studio with an app and workout videos to choose from to display on a big screen.
  • The other customers are an incredibly diverse bunch. I love the range of clothes people wear to workout. There are Italian grandmothers in cardigans, elastic waist pants, and flat dress shoes. There are serious powerlifters in all the gear. And everything in between. I love the high school students who come in after school in pretty much what they are wearing. Ditto the guys in construction boots and nurses still partly in uniform. There’s zero pressure to look all matchy-matchy in nice workout outfits. People are doing lots of different kinds of work outs and it’s all good.

What’s not so great?

  • Unlike classes and personal training and coached cycling/rowing workouts and boutique fitness studios like Cate’s feminist CrossFit or Tracy’s body-positive boot camp, or Orange Theory, you need to have a plan. It’s on you. You need to have a plan for what you are going to do when you get there. I cheat. I follow my son’s workout at about half the weight. But on my own I’m sometimes stuck and go back to old favourites. Lat pull down and bench press and deadlift, anyone? You also need to get there. When there isn’t a group and things start whenever you get there, I sometimes have a harder time getting myself out the door. Without a person whose expectations I want to live up to, sometimes it’s challenging to push yourself. 
  • Also because you can go anytime–24/7!–I can tend to put off going to the gym until later. I sometimes think what I need is a series of workouts on my phone that I can follow along with at the gym but my bad knee means I have to pick and choose. I manage. But I could be more thoughtful and deliberate about it.

Okay, now about you? Are your fitness activities all planned by you or by a trainer or by the agenda of group fitness? Do you go to pricey boutique studios or the generic discount gym? How much do finances and cost play a role in your choices?

people in gym exercising
A photo of a gym, lots of free weights, by Mark Bertulfo, Unsplash.


body image · fitness · disability · accessibility · inclusiveness

Better language for inclusion needed: Not “all bodies can…”

As most of you know while this blog is very much a group project, I pretty much run our Facebook page solo. (I do get some help with moderation. Thanks blogging team!) But in general I read things that I think will interest our followers and I throw them on the page pretty quickly. I make mistakes. I learn things from our readers. I apologize.

Why have the page? It’s a great way to reach a broad audience and build community. Posts that aren’t shared there aren’t nearly as well read as posts that are. Also, there are a ton of stories that come across my newsfeed that I don’t necessarily want to write about but that I think will interest our readers and followers.

Yesterday I shared this story about plus sized outside adventurers. I commented “all bodies are outside bodies.”

But of course there’s reason to be wary of “all bodies” language. Our bodies vary a lot in shape and size and ability. One reader commented, helpfully, that we need better language around inclusion. She has ankle injuries and instability and can no longer hike and misses it.

Hey, me too! I can’t walk very far these days without my knee brace and even with the brace hiking on uneven ground is out of the picture. Now I didn’t say “all bodies are hiking bodies” I deliberately said “all bodies are outdoors bodies” because I was thinking of recent attempts here in Ontario to make provincial parks and beaches wheel chair accessible.

But I get the general point. I feel it when people say “it’s never too late.” Yes, as a matter of fact sometimes it is too late. I’ll never run or play soccer again.

So we want to make sure plus sized bodies are included so we say “all bodies” but not all bodies can do all things. What’s your thoughts about better language for inclusion? Do you mind all bodies talk? How about “all bodies are good bodies?”

cycling · fitness

Late summer to-do list: explore islands by bike

It’s July 21, a bit past the mid-point of summer.

Mr. Bill saying ohh noooo!, articulating my sentiments on this matter exactly.
Mr. Bill saying ohh noooo!, articulating my sentiments on this matter exactly.

However, there’s no need to panic. We have lots of warm days (hopefully not fiercely hot like this weekend) left for outside activity and inactivity.

This year, I resolved to do more local exploring. To that end, I’ve planned some island biking. There are lots of islands off the New England coast, and I’ve seen only a few of them.

Peak’s Island is off the coast of Maine right across from Portland. It’s quite small and quaint and lovely. Here’s a map of it, made by 2nd and 3rd grade classes of kids who live on the island. Really. Isn’t that cool?

Map of Peak's Island, Maine, with bike loops marked, and directions, too.
Map of Peak’s Island, Maine, with bike loops marked, and directions, too.

It turns out that I can take the train from Boston with my bike (I can roll it on, and they will store it, and I then roll it off), take a ferry over, and pedal around and explore. I have friends there, so am staying with them.

I found a nice coastal ride on the mainland as well. There’s a tour company that offers a 5-lighthouse tour for $99. They included a map, so I think I can forgo the $99 fee and do it myself. You can, too– here’s the map. The total mileage to and from the ferry terminal is at most 25 miles/40 km. That sounds perfect for a leisurely exploring jaunt.

Portland Maine's 5-lighthouse bike tour map. This will do nicely for me.
Portland Maine’s 5-lighthouse bike tour map. This will do nicely for me.

Another island I am planning to visit is Block Island, off the south coast of Rhode Island. Here’s a map; I think grownups made this one.

A map of Block Island, with a 7-mile loop at the bottom, and an 8-mile out-and-back at the top.
A map of Block Island, with a 7-mile loop at the bottom, and an 8-mile out-and-back at the top.

For this trip I’ll drive to southern Rhode Island (the Amtrak train to Providence doesn’t let you roll on/roll off bikes… 😦 ) and then take an hour-long ferry. It’s an easy day trip pedaling around, browsing, taking pictures, enjoying beaches, etc.

There’s one more island trip I have planned, although it’s not by bike. The Boston harbor islands are easily accessible by ferry, and loads of people go in the summer. My sister and her kids and I are taking a ferry to Spectacle Island, where we can walk around, swim, and maybe kayak too (they offer free kayak use and intro classes). It’s rather small, and easy to navigate on foot. To get an idea of how small, here’s a map of the route for a 5k race run on the island:

The twisty, turny route for a 5K race on Spectacle Island.
The twisty, turny route for a 5K race on Spectacle Island.

Readers, what are your rest-of-summer plans? Are you gravitating toward water, woods, desert, lakes, mountains? Let me know; cool summer getaway ideas are always welcome.


Grit, part 2: taking charge of my own bike

Last week, I wrote about our cycling trip to Newfoundland, which was, as Sam put it, an “immersive experience.”  The riding was tough but all consuming, the land was gorgeous, and the overall effect was to lift us completely out of the things that dominate our daily lives.

In my post, I called the force that takes over in this kind of experience “grit” — the dig-deep, find-your-animal kind of movement.  Finding that grit also gave me the push to tackle something I’ve been avoiding my whole life:  putting my bike back together after we got home.

I think of myself as a pretty committed bike rider, ever since I first got on a bike when I was 7 and took off for independent explorations.  But one thing I’ve never been confident about was the mechanics of it all.  I’m going to confess something now that I can’t believe I’m going to admit:  as much as I fight this, I have a deep-rooted inner dialogue — a barely conscious bias — that fixing your bike isn’t something girls do.  In my queer landscape, this translates into “this is a butch thing” — and I have a story that it’s not something I can do.

The bonkers thing is, I happily do many things that can be described as “butch” things — I have power tools, I drill things, I assemble things, I lift heavy things, I chop wood, I climb ladders and fences to hang things, I rewire light fixtures, I fondly stroke visible muscles on my legs and arms.  There is no other area of my life where I make an internal division between masculine/feminine things and decide that I “can’t do” the masculine thing.  (Well, except for wearing a tux or a masculine-cut suit — I do not suit this look).

I know this about myself, and have fought it — but the bike mechanics thing is my nemesis.  Two years ago, I spent a day doing a one-on-one basic bike mechanics course with an excellent not-male bike mechanic, and I have all the tools and manuals and good intentions.  But even doing that, my quiet internal story was, “oh, if my bike breaks on the road, I can always get someone to take me to a bike shop.”

Here is another confession:  I have never replaced a tube.  I know *how*, and I have assisted at many, but the one time I tried to do it on my own — about 20 years ago — I wrestled with the tire jacks getting the tired back on and ended up punching myself in the mouth and then taking it to the corner bike shop.

I expressed some of this anxiety on our first night in NFLD when we were eating dinner before tackling the assembly of my bike (I was the last to arrive).  I had paid my bike shop to pack mine up for shipping, with the rationalization that it was a brand new bike and they could tweak some things at the same time.  And now I had a bike-in-a-box that I had to ride 92 km the next day.  “It’s so surprising you have this anxiety,” said Sam or Sarah or Susan.  “I KNOW!” I said.  “So who’s going to help me put it together?”

Sarah led the putting of my bike together, while I held things and encouraged her, and Sam sat on the folding camp chair and read us what we were going to do the next day until the mosquitoes drove her inside.  (Susan quite handily put her own bike together).

Sarah and I had a few confusing moments because the disk brakes with thru axles made putting my back wheel back on a bit weird — but I just thought, “oh Sarah’s an engineer, she’ll figure this out.”  Letting go of the accountability altogether.


When I rode the bike around the parking lot to test it out, it felt like magic. My bike was in pieces, and now it was a bike again. A magic a “person like me” wasn’t capable of.

At some point during our trip, when I was singing the praises of my new bike, Sam asked if I’d start bringing my own bike when I traveled instead of renting. “Yes!” I said.  But my anxious inner dialogue was: but I’ll never be able to put it together myself.

Somewhere amid all the road and emotional grit of our ride, that anxiety transformed into determination. On the night before we left, I first asked Sarah to help me again, to pack my bike up this time.. Then something clicked and I thought, I’ll just see how far I get.

Packing up the bike behind our motel room wasn’t super fun. The foam wrapping bits kept flying around the parking lot, the case kept falling shut on my head, and I struggled to figure out how to get the back wheel to drop out. Figuring out exactly how to pack it in the rented case was a bit of a puzzle, and it didn’t look as tidy as it had when my bike shop did it.  And found myself adjusting some cable that wanted to poke out when I had to open it at the airport security the next day. But I did it.


(Those are Susan’s wheels in the background).

IMG_9148The whole flight home, I had a thrum of anxiety. Was it safe? Could I put it back together? Or would I do something irrevocable and ruin my perfect, intrepid companion Gudridor?

The case arrived intact, but I put off opening it for two days.  Then, suddenly, I was determined. So were the cats.

The process was not… simple.  It was all unfamiliar, like trying to cook in someone else’s kitchen with random utensils picked up by the side of the road.  I found the fork weirdly slidey, and then I put it on backwards (which I didn’t realize until much later).  The front wheel went on fine, and then… the back wheel.


The chain looked like this –>

Just in case you’re not familiar with bikes, it’s not supposed to look like that.

I cannot overstate how long it took me to unravel the mystery of this looped chain (a thing that apparently happens when you let your chain go slack).  There were texts to Sarah, a youtube video she found for me, a phone call with my brother in law, and some unhelpful advice from my neighbour as I sweated over it in the hot sun on my terrace.  (“Your hands are really dirty!” he observed).

Three clues got me through it:  Sarah’s assurance that if I hadn’t taken the chain off to screw it up, I wouldn’t have to take it off to fix it; the cute british guy in the video telling me it meant up had become down and vice versa; and my brother in law saying, start with the derailleur and then go from there.

I finally got the chain set to rights, and then wrestled with the back wheel, trying to figure out where the eff I actually needed to stick the cogs into the chain to make it all work.

Sarah suggested I look at my road bike to see how *that* situation all worked.

Literally for more than an hour, I had my road bike and my touring bike up on their faces in my living room, trying to figure out just how to move the derailleur — surprisingly sproingy! — to get the wheel on.

My brother in law tried to walk me through it on the phone, but he was calling me from his motorcycle, which I disapproved of, so I decided to give up.  I sat on the couch and had a gin and tonic and looked at my upended bike for a while.  Then I went to bed.

Sarah texted me to ask if I’d fixed it.  I admitted I’d given up.

But something clicked.  I didn’t want to be that person.

I got up, stripped off my jammies, put on the grease-streaked gloves, and within three minutes, found the correct angle.

Click, whirrrrrrrr, flllllllk.

That was when I noticed the front and back brakes were on different sides, and the front wires were twisty — how could I not notice this?   I unscrewed the handlebars, flipped the fork around to the right direction, put on the seat — and there it was.  A bike, again.


The next day, I rode it 20 km.  It worked.  I made a bike.

Grit. Getting under your skin and dislodging old, useless stories.



Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who blogs here two or three times a month, and who knows she should take the wheel on and off a whole bunch of times just to feel really confident.  She’s working up to that.




Not all rides are good rides

Some rides are awful. (You might recall this blog post about the worst bike ride of my life.)

Just like some runs are awful.

Today’s ride might be the second worst ride of my life. It was miserable for four reasons. The first I could have done something about.

Reason 1 was predictable. I didn’t eat enough lunch. I hopped on the bike hungry at 4:30 pm. It’s just 15 km I reasoned. But I had been out on the bike for 25 km this morning. That was a fun ride. Thanks Ellen! 10 km in I was woozy and very happy to see a farmer’s market where I grabbed a veggie samosa and peach juice. I also met these guys.

Reason 2, also simple, a heat alert and high humidity. Okay, ride easy. But hills. With hills there’s no easy for me.

Reason 3, drivers in trucks passing way too closely, too quickly. Some were yelling for bonus awfulness. Also, no shoulder. Nothing really dangerous just really unpleasant.

Reason 4, after the trucky section there was deep wet gravel on the road into the boat club. I fell, gently. Nothing hurt but while trying to get up and get the bike up I got bitten by dozens of mean mosquitoes.

I’m chilling now on the shore, relaxing with this guy.

Watching boats.

Oh, locals who want to know my route, it’s here. It still looks like the best way to the boat club. Suggestions welcome.


CSWIP 2019: Feminism and Food, draft program

Okay, it’s still a work in progress but here’s a draft program.

More details about accommodation here. Registration info soon to come!

University of Guelph, October 25-27, 2019

The conference will be held on the campus of the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. Room numbers, locations, and accessibility and AV information will be available soon.

Friday, October 25

12:00-1:00        Registration and Coffee (Location: TBA)

1:00-2:30          Sessions 1A and 1B

Session 1A: The Social Dimension of Eating

(This session will run from 1:00-2:00)

Chair: TBA

Whitney Ronshagen (Emory University), “Disgusting Food, Disgusting People: The Social Significance of Affect and Eating”

Emilie Dionne (McGill University), “Becoming-Mother/Becoming-Matter: The Agency of Food in Performances of the Good Mother, Good Person, Good Citizen”

Session 1B: Consumption, Production, and Access: Feminist Politics of Food

Chair: TBA

Cressida Heyes (University of Alberta), “From Fast Food to Sleep Deprivation: Toward a Feminist Political Philosophy of Time Poverty”

Vanessa Lehan-Streisel (York University), “Bread Engineering vs Intuitive Baking: Gender and the Resurgence of Sourdough”

Jennifer Szende (McMaster University), “Food Justice and Emancipatory Framing.”

2:30-2:45          Break

2:45-3:45          Sessions 2A and 2B

Session 2A:      Interrogating Diet Culture Past and Present

Chair: TBA

Celia Edell (McGill University) and Sarah Clairmount (McGill University), “Medieval Eucharistic Devotion and Modern Diet Culture.”

Nadia Mehdi (University of Sheffield), “Eat Like a Caveman! A Philosophical Analysis of the Rise in Clean Eating, Paleo and Other Nutritional Trends.”

Session 2B:      Understanding Non-Human Animals

Chair: TBA

Letitia Meynell (Dalhousie University) and Andrew Lopez (Queen’s University), “(En)gendering Animals”

Naomi Scheman (University of Minnesota), “How Thinking About Pork Can Help Us Think About Pigs”

3:45-4:00          Break

4:00-6:00          2019 Jean Harvey Award Presentation and Keynote Address

Chair: TBA

Ileana Szymanksi (University of Scranton), ““Womanhood and Anorexia Nervosa Through a Feminist Reading of Aristotle’s Category of Relation”

6:00-7:30          Reception (Location: TBA)

Saturday October 26

8:30-9:00          Registration and Coffee

9:00-10:30        Sessions 3A and 3B

Session 3A       With Apologies: Analyzing Microaggressions

*This session will run from 9:00-10:00

Chair: TBA

Emma McClure (University of Toronto), “Microaffirmations, Privilege, and a Duty to Redistribute”

Heather Stewart (University of Western Ontario), “The Concept of Microaggressions: A Family Resemblance Account”

Session 3B        To Consume and Be Consumed

Chair: TBA

Molly Dea Stephenson (University of Toronto), “Eating Flesh and Fleshy Eaters.”

Jovian Parry (York University), “Human Cattle and Vegan Purity: Feminist Engagements with the Science Fiction of Meat Eating.”

Jasmine Gunkel (University of Southern California), “Pleasures of the Flesh”

10:30-11:00     Break

11:00-12:00     Sessions 4A and 4B

Session 4A       Bioethics in Medical Practice

Chair: TBA

Patricia Marino (University of Waterloo), “Moral Pluralism, Bioethics, and the Complexities of Informed Consent.”

Suze Berkhout (University of Toronto), “Embodiment, Psychosis, and Frictions in the First Episode Clinic: Divergent Bodyminds; the Implications for Bioethics in Psychiatry”

Session 4B        Disordered Eating in Diet Culture

Chair: TBA

Kat Huybregts (Carleton University), “How to Challenge Diet Culture without Perpetuating Ableism: Intersections of Fat and Disability Studies”

Megan Dean (Hamilton College), “Vegetarianism and Eating Disorders: An Ethical Analysis of an Uncertain Hypothesis”

12:00-1:30        CSWIP AGM and Lunch

1:30-3:30          Sessions 5A and 5B

Session 5A       PANEL: Eating One’s Words: From Kitchen Tables to Comment Sections

Chair: TBA

Shannon Dea (University of Waterloo), “When Eating our Words Means Feeding the Trolls”

Alice MacLachlan (York University), “‘YOU GUYS, I AM SOOO SORRY!!!11’: Apologies on Social Media”

Barrett Emerick (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), “One Problem with Apologizing for Who You Are”

Jennifer M. Saul (University of Waterloo), “Figleaves, Apologies, and Cancellations”

Session 5B        Culinary Arts: Food, Feasts, and Rebellion

Chair: TBA

Ada Jaarsma (Mount Royal University), “What is a Good Tomato? Pedagogy, Perspective, Praxis”

Anna Mudde (Campion College at the University of Regina), “The Real Food of Dreams: Cooking, Companions, and Lorde’s Poetic Practice”

Catherine Hundleby (University of Windsor), “Arguing Over Dinner”

Fumina Hamasaki (Lancaster University), “Feminist Artists’ Culinary Rebellion: Women as Discursive Food in the Philosophical Tradition”

3:30-4:00          Break

4:00-5:30          Sessions 6A and 6B

Session 6A       PANEL, Freaked Foods and Freaky Eaters

Chair: TBA

Chloë Taylor (University of Alberta), “Vegan Madness: Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

Alison Suen (Iona College), “Cannibalism and Reproductive Freedom”

Kelly Struthers Montford (University of British Columbia, Okanagan), “Phreaked Foods Meet Colonial Ontologies”

Session 6B        Injustice, Food Labour, and Food Activism

Chair: TBA

Shannon Boss (University of Guelph), “To Be Against Purity by Becoming Dirt”

Amanda Corris (University of Cincinnati), “Ecofeminism in the Field: The Role of Women in Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture”

Ann Levey (University of Calgary), “Sharing Food, Creating Community”

5:30-5:45          Break

5:45-6:45          Sessions 7A and 7B

Session 7A       Relational Accounts: Autonomy, Ethics, and Entanglements

Chair: TBA

Margaret Toye (Wilfrid Laurier University), “What Donna Haraway’s Relational Ontology and Relational Ethics Can Offer Feminist Food Studies”

Jane Dryden (Mount Allison University), “Relational Autonomy and the Messiness of Ethical Eating”

Session 7B        Facial Recognition

Chair: TBA

Lisa McKeown (The New School), “Invisible Intentions, Why Maitra’s Intentionalism Misses the Mark”

Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo), “Who the computer sees: Visions of bias in artificial intelligence”

7:00-9:00          Banquet (Location TBA)

Sunday October 27

8:30-9:00          Coffee

9:00-10:00        Sessions 8A and 8B

Session 8A       Ethics and Intoxication

Chair: TBA

Lindsey Porter (University of Bristol), “What to Drink: Is Intoxication Morally Wrong?”

Sarah Hoffman (University of Saskatchewan), “Kantian Self-Perfection and Drug Use.”

Session 8B        Food Ethics, Hunger, and the Moral Responsibility of Food

Chair: TBA

Alida Liberman (Southern Methodist University), “Food Ethics, Obligation, and Non Hinderance.”

Ann Murphy (University of New Mexico), “Bread and Roses: Gender, Hunger, and Dignity”

10:00-10:15     Break

10:15-12:15     Sessions 9A and 9B

Session 9A       BOOK PANEL, Chloë Taylor’s Foucault, Feminism and Sex Crimes

Chair: Ada Jaarsma

David Scott (Open University), “Food for Abolitionist Thought: Questioning the Penal Appetite and the Quenching Thirst for Justice,”

Kelly Struthers Montford (University of British Columbia, Okanagan), “Carceral normalization: Agribusiness, incarcerated vegetarians, and pathologized activists”

Suze Berkhout (University of Toronto), “Suppression, Carceral Appetites, and Food Refusal in Prisons”

Hasana Sharp (McGill University), “Appetite for Abolition: Prisons and Genders”


Chloë Taylor (University of Alberta)

Session 9B        The Ecology and Ethics of Eating

Chair: TBA

Katharine Wolfe (St. Lawrence University), “On Being Food: The Ecology and Ethics of Matrotopy”

Tracy Isaacs (Western University), “Is an Imperfect Vegan Just a Vegetarian?”

Charlotte Figueroa (University of Southern California), “Do Feminists Have an Ethical Duty to be Vegans?”

Jaclyn Meloche (Independent Scholar), “Food, Feminism and Kitchen Culture”