SSP Research Seminar: ‘Look at me!’ Post-mastectomy transformative politics

SSP Research Seminar welcomes Kathy Davis of VU University in the Netherlands to present ‘Look at me!’ Post-mastectomy transformative politics.

Speaker bio:

Kathy Davis - VU University Amsterdam

Kathy Davis is senior research fellow in the Sociology Department at the VU University in the Netherlands. She was co-editor of the European Journal of Women’s Studies for many years. Her research interests include: sociology of the body, intersectionality, travelling theory and transnational practices;  biography as methodology and critical and creative strategies for academic writing; and new forms of feminist body activism.  She is the author of many books, including Reshaping the Female Body(Routledge, 1995), DubiousEqualities and Embodied Differences (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003),  and The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders (Duke, 2007) and Dancing Tango: Passionate Encounters in a Globalizing World (NYUPress, 2015). She is currently editing the Routledge Handbook of Intersectionality Studies with Helma Lutz and Silences, Neglected Feelings and Blind-sports in Research Practice with Janice Irvine. 


‘Look at me!’ Post-mastectomy transformative politics 

Breast cancer is one of the most urgent women’s health issues. It has inspired considerable activism, the most famous being the Pink Ribbon movement. The Pink Ribbon movement has been criticized by many feminist scholars, however. They have decried what they call the ‘pink-washing’ of breast cancer through consumerism and the insistence that breast cancer survivors should ‘look  good in order to feel good. In my talk, I explore an alternative to the sentimental politics of pink ribbon campaigns. This alternative activism takes the form of artistic projects – fashion, art, photography and other forms of aesthetic  expression. Drawing upon the work of the queer theorist Dina Georgis (2012), I show how this alternate activism provides a ‘better story’ about the experience of living with breast cancer and offers inspiration for a more transformative feminist politics of the body.  

Joining information

Zoom meeting link:

Meeting ID: 869 7387 6650
Passcode: 273691