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THE LAW IS A WHITE DOG: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons

Event Date: 
Thursday, October 17, 2013

How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons

3 -4:45 PM Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway 1517

Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities at Vanderbilt University
Nahum D. Chandler, Associate Professor of African American Studies, UC Irvine
Rei Terada, Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Irvine
Chris Tomlins, Chancellor’s Professor of Law, UC Irvine
Moderator: Jasmine Montgomery, Doctoral Student in Criminology, Law & Society, UC Irvine

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.

Sponsored by UCI School of Social Ecology, UCI Humanities Collective, and the Center in Law, Society and Culture