Abused dogs, prisoners tortured in Guantanamo and supermax
facilities, or slaves killed by the state--all are deprived of
personhood through legal acts. Such deprivations have recurred
throughout history, and the law sustains these terrors and
banishments even as it upholds the civil order. Examining such
troubling cases, "The Law Is a White Dog" tackles key societal
questions: How does the law construct our identities? How do its
rules and sanctions make or unmake persons? And how do the
supposedly rational claims of the law define marginal entities,
both natural and supernatural, including ghosts, dogs, slaves,
terrorist suspects, and felons? Reading the language, allusions,
and symbols of legal discourse, and bridging distinctions between
the human and nonhuman, Colin Dayan looks at how the law disfigures
individuals and animals, and how slavery, punishment, and torture
create unforeseen effects in our daily lives.
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 Guantanamo.
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,
Princeton University Press
|Country of origin:
||235 x 152 x 22mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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