Author's School

School of Law

Author's Department

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Additional Affiliations

William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law; Vice Provost of the University; Faculty with the Feminist Critical Analysis Seminar

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Fall 1-1-1997

Originally Published In

Davis, Adrienne D., Identity Notes Part II: Redeeming the Body Politic, 2 HARVARD LATINO LAW JOURNAL 267 (1997).


These remarks were given in April 1996 at the First Annual LatCrit Conference, co-sponsored by California Western Law School and the Harvard Latino Law Review. ... Political corpus, body politic, body of law, corporate law, body of evidence, body of knowledge, the footnote. ... While the body of Christ has not been used explicitly to order secular American law and political theory, a multi-dimensional analysis of his body in Western political theory would have to include its use at a critical historic moment as an organizing metaphor for the racial order of the United States and the consolidation of the national identity as white. ... Reclamation of the national identity as historically always diverse, documentation of the denial of citizenship to groups of color, and the rectification of the consequences of this, through both active and benign means, open the possibility of true redemption of the American character, and a vision of the participation of multiple bodies necessary for a serious democracy. ... Thus, in charting racial paradigms, I have focused on two bodies -- the American political corpus or body politic and that of Christ. ... Rather than searching to create a monolithic paradigm of "Latinos and the Law," LatCrit Theory should conceptualize a series of platforms, assumptions, and paradigm shifts and linkages, again at times contradictory, that will not only enrich our understanding of Latinos/as, but will also enhance our larger understanding about law and race in America.


Originally published in 2 HARVARD LATINO LAW JOURNAL 267 (1997).

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Legal Studies Commons