Monday, January 30, 2012

Occupy as Form: Erika Langer

The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley is sponsoring the working session “Occupy as Form” on February 10, 2012. Participants have been invited to post some brief thoughts on the topic in advance of the event. This guest posting is by Erika Langer, a doctoral candidate in History of Health Sciences in UCSF's Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine.

Keyword: Speech

As direct, physical evidence of citizen personhood, the Occupy movement brings together human bodies in a symbol of speech made in stark contrast to the 2010 Citizens United ruling upholding the rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment. There is no place for corporate personhood in this vision of democracy, as muddy, dynamic and diverse as the protest sites themselves.


  1. Beautifully concise reflection. What are the differences between human bodies (from corpus and/or soma?) and corporations (from corpus?) in this particular place (of post?-occupy) and time (of Citizens United)?

  2. I think it's interesting that while "there is no place for corporate personhood in this vision of democracy," yet some of the language used within the movement to talk about corporations is highly anthropomorphic -- e.g. protesting "corporate greed and corruption."