Moving seamlessly across genres and disciplines, Dayan considers legal practices and spiritual beliefs from medieval England, the North American colonies, and the Caribbean that have survived in our legal discourse, and she explores the civil deaths of felons and slaves through lawful repression. Tracing the legacy of slavery in the United States in the structures of the contemporary American prison system and in the administrative detention of ghostly supermax facilities, she also demonstrates how contemporary jurisprudence regarding cruel and unusual punishment prepared the way for abuses in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.
Using conventional historical and legal sources to answer unconventional questions, The Law Is a White Dog illuminates stark truths about civil society's ability to marginalize, exclude, and dehumanize.
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|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Holy Dogs, Hecuba's Bark 1
Chapter 2: Civil Death 39
Chapter 3: Punishing the Residue 71
Chapter 4: Taxonomies 113
Chapter 5: A Legal Ethnography 138
Chapter 6: Who Gets to Be Wanton? 177
Chapter 7: Skin of the Dog 209
What People are Saying About This
"Colin Dayan's engagement with what she calls the sorcery of the law leads her to trouble narrative movements from ignorance to knowledge, animality to humanity, barbarism to enlightenment, slavery to freedom. In the process she urges us to recognize how legal technologies that once sustained a core contradiction of slaverythat slaves were only accorded legal personality when they committed a crimenow relegate millions of incarcerated persons to civil death. The Law is a White Dog compels us to acknowledge how the ghosts of slavery continue to animate institutionsfrom Guantanamo to the supermaxthat thrive on racialized violence today."Angela Y. Davis, professor emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz"In language that is searing and lyrical, evocative and precise, this exceptional book thinks with the zombies, specters, felons, slaves, dogs, cadavers, and other entities that are the remnants of loss and dispossession in the law. Dogs and people are abundantly present here, even as the legal fictions they are made to inhabit are exposed with acid lucidity. These are hard histories made readable by Dayan's precious acts of writing."Donna J. Haraway, author of When Species Meet"This is truly an extraordinary book, one which will become a classic of interdisciplinary legal scholarship. Combining memoir, literary criticism, history, cultural studies, and analysis of legal doctrine, this is a fascinating tour de force."Austin Sarat, Amherst College