Kathy Davis is a senior researcher in women’s studies at the Research Institute for History and Culture at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She has a long-standing interest in feminist scholarship on women’s health and women’s bodies, and she has published on contemporary feminist approaches to the body, interactions between physicians and women patients, cultural constructions of beauty and beauty practices, the political dimensions of surgical technologies, and transnational feminist health politics.
While she is a fellow at Radcliffe, Davis will be working on a cross-cultural history of the feminist classic on women and health Our Bodies, Ourselves. She will look at how the book has been adapted by women’s groups around the world and the implications this global process has for understanding how, why, and to what effect feminist knowledge practices are taken up, transformed, and disseminated in different cultural and political contexts. Davis will use this example as a case for understanding the possibilities—and the limitations of—global feminism.
In addition to having set up and run several women’s studies programs in the Netherlands, Davis is the editor of the European Journal of Women’s Studies. She was the president of the research committee on biography and society of the International Sociological Association from 1994 to 2002. Davis has held visiting research fellowships at Radcliffe College, Columbia University, and Wesleyan University, as well as visiting professorships at Wellesley College, the University of Umea in Sweden, and the University of Helsinki and University of Tampere, both in Finland.