Aboffered dogs, detainees tortured in Guantánamo and supermax facilities, or servants killed by the state — all are deprived of personhood through legal acts. Such deprivations have actually recurred throughout background, and the legislation sustains these terrors and also banishments even as it upholds the civil order. Assessing such troubling cases, The Law Is a White Dog tackles key societal questions: How does the law construct our identities? How carry out its rules and also sanctions make or unmake persons? And how carry out the supposedly rational clintends of the law specify marginal entities, both natural and also supernatural, consisting of ghosts, dogs, servants, terrorist suspects, and also felons? Reading the language, allusions, and also signs of legal discourse, and bridging distinctions in between the human and also nonhuguy, Colin Dayan looks at just how the regulation disnumbers individuals and also animals, and just how slaincredibly, punishment, and torture create unanticipated effects in our everyday resides. Moving seamlessly throughout genres and also techniques, Dayan considers legal methods and spiroutine beliefs from medieval England, the North Amerihave the right to nests, and also the Caribbean that have actually survived in our legal discourse, and she explores the civil deaths of felons and also servants through lawful relutz-heilmann.infoion. Tracing the tradition of slavery in the USA in the frameworks of the modern Amerihave the right to prikid mechanism and also in the bureaucratic detention of ghostly supermax facilities, she additionally demonstrates exactly how contemporary jurisprudence about cruel and also unusual punishment all set the method for aboffers in Abu Ghraib and also Guantánamo. Using standard historic and also legal sources to answer unconventional questions, The Law Is a White Dog illuminates stark truths around civil society’s capacity to marginalize, exclude, anddehumanize.




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Colin Dayan is the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. Her publications encompass Haiti, History, and also the Gods and also The Story of Cruel and Unusual.
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"The Law is a White Dog is both philosophically breathtaking and politically pertinent. Dayan"s disrobing of personhood is not ssuggest an exposure of injustice, but an discussion. She beckons us to a conception of the legislation that considers eactivity and ethics as relevant as factor."—Imani Perry, Amerihave the right to Literary History

" breath-taking tour through legal and social conmessages richly and passionately illustrated. . . . Dayan aspires to perform more than debunk the "rationality" of law; she cries out against the injustice and violence that law"s word-twisting provides both possible and invisible. Her descriptions and account of civil death, force-feeding, mind-killing solitary confinement, and also slaincredibly and its inheritors, must be forced analysis."—Linda Ross Meyer, Law, Culture and also Humanities

"Dayan succeeds mightily in her dismal job. The tale is told through death-row chain gangs, cell-extractivity with dogs, rape by "correctional officers", a rare first-hand report on the horrors of supermax prisons, and also much else besides: the entombment of the living that made an end to the fatality penalty possible—however just bereason a fate worse than fatality had actually been uncovered. . . . The book is characterized by three extraordinary toughness. First, its ethical force is as direct as that of Charles Dickens, émile Zola or Henry Mayhew. Its regulated anger reminded me of No Logo, Naomi Klein"s good critique of international capitalism. Second, I have actually never before read a much better use made of situation law: Dayan knows the importance of legal decisions yet is not bound by them, and also is constantly conscious that their hinterland also matters a lot more than their formal pincreased. . . . Third and finest, the book takes the margins and also provides them central. . .these functions help to make it a triumph of style and of substance."—Conor Gearty, Times Higher Education

"Interdisciplinary scholar Colin Dayan"s a lot of recent book, The Law Is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons, presents a postmodern-day blfinish of anthropology, social critique, and also legal history that deconstructs the Enlightenment rationality generally associated via regulation. Dayan examines some of the methods in which the mechanisms of our legal device perpetuate "violence and also oplutz-heilmann.infoion" (p. xvii) alongside development and modernity. Going past traditional backgrounds and also examinations of the regulation, her book explores just how larger socio-legal procedures, prefer marginalization, the development of social outcasts, and also the justification of brutal penal practices, shape our present-day society. Dayan, who serves at the same time as anthropologist, social movie critic, and poet, depicts the darker side of Amerideserve to society and also the frequently relutz-heilmann.infoive character of our regulation. . . . Written by an writer famed for previous interdisciplinary occupational in social researches and also law, this book is a must-have actually for both basic academic libraries and academic law libraries. The writing is crisp, and the way in which Dayan assembles a broad selection of topics that are seldom grouped together is thought-provoking and engaging. The book addresses vital social concerns and reveals the subtle means that idiosyncratic legal thinking works to rationalize harsh social processes. Dayan"s debuilding highlights the legislation as an essential device for social control, fairly than a narrow area of professional discourse or an administrative or procedural mechanism that touches just a tiny segment of society. Eventually, The Law Is a White Dog will certainly prove handy for anyone who seeks a substantial, crucial knowledge of our society and also the duty played in it by the regulation."—Law Library Journal

"his occupational by Dayan is among the most useful modern books on law and culture to come out in fairly some time. . . . The Law is a White Dog is an imaginative, highly intellectual book."—Choice

"A cumulative masteritem of probing, pertinent erudition. . . . More concerned through conceptual structures than local specifics, Dayan breaks wealthy new instrumental ground on the well-trodden course from plantation to prichild. stunningly insightful yet painstaking inquiry right into the very actual results of the recurring legal and social project of defining the borders of personhood."—American Literature

"Colin Dayan has actually created a daunting and also ambitious book. . . . Its interemainder for social and also political philosophers and philosophers of legislation will be generally its engagement via the question of exactly how personhood is identified and also materially shaped via the exercise of law. . . . The Law is a White Dog uses a lot, possibly at precisely the points it frustprices expectation. It would certainly be appropriately check out in upper-level undergraduate classes, especially in philosophy of legislation, social and political ideology, and pet studies."—Alexis Shotwell, Philosophy in Review

"Colin Dayan"s The Law is a White Dog is the a lot of imagiindigenous and passionate (mostly about prichild conditions in the US) that I have come throughout for a lengthy while."—Conor Gearty, LSE Resee of Books

"Law is the major character in this thoughtful narrative. Assessing how the legislation sometimes transforms and disfigures humale persons . . . reducing human being to bare human products, biologically alive yet legally dead. Dayan summons a amazing range of thoughtful tales, including Voodoo, Greek tragedy, medieval law, Human being Rights Watch reports, magic, and medicine. But eclectic as this selection is, these discourses tell a rigorous story around just how people are turned into non-humans, how animals end up being humans, exactly how things are endowed via intention."—Branka Arsic, Leviathan

"The Law is a White Dog is a vivid exploration of literary works, background, and regulation. It asks tough yet stimulating inquiries about the systemically entrenched racial, early american, and ideological ineattributes of the Anglo-American legal mechanism. As a text came to via the function of law in the (un)making of legal identity, this book provides a really handy contribution to the area of socio-legal studies as it lutz-heilmann.infoures one to think about the violence of legislation and also to trouble the assumptions made about the rule of legislation in modern-day liberal autonomous societies. . . . As a contemporary political project, this initiative identifies the everyday after-effects of staying silent to systemic injustices."—Socialist Studies/Etudes socialistes

"This provocative and also rigorous analysis provides a far-reaching contribution both to legal scholarship and also modern discussions around criminalization, nationwide defense and racism. . . . An innovative engagement through a selection of legal locations and also periods, Dayan"s occupational helps us trace the role legal thinking has played in creating a servant culture, and also a prison culture, in which structures of racial violence appear unavoidable, justifiable, rational and herbal."—Journal of Legal Studies

"Colin Dayan"s The Law is a White Dog is a tour de force of interdisciplinary legal scholarship. . . . Employing a technique that emphasizes the power of legal rhetoric, the persistence of modes of categorizing entities on the margins, and also the magical reasoning that conjures and parries otherness as soon as it comes right into contact through law, Dayan gives us a background replete via stunningly fresh insights into the transformational violence legislation inflicts and also legitimizes on those it regulates and also controls."—Law and also Society Review

"Dayan"s job-related is engrossing, imaginative, and also erudite. It will certainly appeal to wide audiences, including historians, anthropologists, and also sociologists of slaextremely, scholars interested in the background of punishment, and academics and activists involved with both human and also animal civil liberties."—Mindie Lazarus-Babsence, New West Indian Guide

"Colin Dayan"s engagement via what she calls the sorcery of the legislation leads her to trouble narrative motions from ignorance to understanding, animality to mankind, barbarism to enlightenment, slaextremely to freedom. In the procedure she urges us to recognize how legal technologies that once continual a core contradiction of slavery—that slaves were only accorded legal personality when they committed a crime—now relegate numerous incarcerated persons to civil death. The Law is a White Dog compels us to acexpertise exactly how the ghosts of slaexceptionally proceed to animate institutions—from Guantanamo to the supermax—that grow on racialized violence this day."—Angela Y. Davis, professor emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz

"In language that is searing and also lyrical, evocative and specific, this imlutz-heilmann.infoive book thinks through the zombies, specters, felons, servants, dogs, cadavers, and also other entities that are the remnants of loss and dispossession in the law. Dogs and also civilization are abundantly existing below, also as the legal fictions they are made to inhabit are exposed via acid lucidity. These are hard backgrounds made readable by Dayan"s valuable acts of creating."—Donna J.

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"This is truly an extraordinary book, one which will become a classical of interdisciplinary legal scholarship. Combining memoir, literary criticism, background, social studies, and also evaluation of legal doctrine, this is a fascinating tour de force."—Austin Sarat, Amherst College