A Public Lecture by Kathy Davis,
Senior reseach fellow at the Department of Sociology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam,
Co-editor of The European Journal of Women’s Studies

Introduced by: Janice Irvin, Professor of Sociology at University of Massachusetts,
Fulbright scholar at the Faculty of European Studies, Babes-Bolyai University

Tango, of all popular dances, would seem to be the most extreme embodiment of traditional notions of gender difference.

It not only draws on hierarchical differences between the sexes, but also generates a ‘politics of passion’ which transforms Argentineans into the exotic ‘Other’ for consumption by Europeans and North Americans in search of the passion they are missing at home.

In this talk, I offer a modest provocation in the direction of scholarship which places politics before experience by questioning whether passion can be explained solely through the discourses of feminism or post-colonialism.

Instead I will show why we, as critical feminist scholars, need to pay more attention to the experience of passion, whether we are analyzing a passion for tango or any other bodily activity that is intensely pleasurable, addictively desired, but also unsettling, disruptive, and – last but not least – politically incorrect.