IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Occupy university. Style and sensation

Listed author(s):
  • Jean-Luc Moriceau


    (DEFIS - Droit, Economie, Finances et Sociologie - TEM - Télécom Ecole de Management - Institut Mines-Télécom [Paris])

  • Isabela Dos Santos Paes


    (Luna Lunera (.))

Registered author(s):

    When voices are no longer heard and circulate the lies, when faces are no longer seen and gazes turned away, what possibility is left to oppose? To invade the space with one's body, to accumulate the meat to make mass, to form a crowd. In other words, to occupy, to be preoccupied, to look after. But how can the researcher account for this dynamics of the flesh, tell what the bodies say, tell the space reformulated by these organizing bodies, describe such a massive and flexible atmosphere? Occupy universities and schools: body matters Brazil, end of 2016. The temporary Government wants to pass a constitutional amendment that would freeze public spending, including spending for public schools and universities. Higher education is likely to become even more reserved to an elite of money, the only one who can afford private universities, or the secondary education that leads to it. Besides, sport, arts, literature and social sciences would no longer be mandatory. And the law wants to impose a 'political objectivity'; i.e. to prevent opinions from being expressed or discussed in those places. More than 2000 schools and universities are then occupied by students and teachers, maintaining the premises, organizing alternative courses, protesting while taking care of their space. The police and the army will repeatedly dislodge these occupying bodies, sometimes violently. Whereas, as Foucault has clearly demonstrated, it was these institutions, schools and universities, that used to enclose and discipline bodies, it is now the bodies that try to save them, so that they do not spread out in a collection of bodies that just work. These places are occupied. In French it is said that a line is occupied, when it is engaged. Communication is no longer possible, because bodies are engaged. An occupation is a matter of bodies, bricks, banners, and media. Only one face was to be seen, that of a young schoolgirl in front of the parliamentarians who asks them to come to see the occupation, to come with their bodies. It is the bodies that connect, that unite. Style We would like to argue that what is at stake, what is threatened, is a lifestyle, a form of life. If style is above all a matter of sensitive quality, of appearance, it is also one of the plans where human existence or social adventure qualify, struggle and even win (Macé, 2016). By occupying, by defending a habitat, it is also a habitus and a habit that they defend, i.e. an aesthetic and an ethos, an ethics. They defend a singular way of being in common, of engaging, of passing on. What the laws may entail is a confiscation of form, the stifling of a lifestyle, of a form of life, as much in its daily practices as in the values it affirms, and also in the possibilities of individuation that he promotes. But how to investigate a style, with its rhythms, vibrations, paces, tonalities, distinctions, with its forms-forces, reliefs, punctuations, dynamics of spacing? This very vocabulary of style leads us to turn to affects. We would like to try to think what the turn to affects in a Deleuzian logic might mean to study such a situation. For Deleuze, the stylist is the one who creates a foreign language inside his own language, and pushes it to its musical limit. The aim will then not to represent the occupation as an expression of a style but to make it feel, moving from the logic of sense to the logic of sensation (Deleuze, 1981). The sensation for Deleuze acts directly on the nervous system, which is flesh, without passing through the brain, through figuration, through a story. Giving to feel sensation is like entering the picture, touching the unity of feeling and be felt. It is to see the occupation as the performance of a theater of repetition. It is to paint the forces, to paint the cry rather than the horror. Gesture that Deleuze looks for with Francis Bacon, who leads him to invoke: Pity the meat! This form of life, this lifestyle has to be defended, not only as a matter of diversity, but because this style is for us one of the most cherished value.

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-01570959.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 10 Jul 2017
    Publication status: Published in SCOS 2017 : 35th Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism. "Carne - Flesh and organization", Jul 2017, Rome, Italy. SCOS 2017 : 35th Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism. "Carne - Flesh and organization"
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01570959
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01570959. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.