Colin Dayan is Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University. She works in prison law; the legal and religious history of the Americas; nineteenth-century American, French and English literary history; Caribbean Literature; and African American Studies. The recipient of numerous awards including Danforth, NEH and Guggenheim fellowships, she has written for The Yale Review, New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Washington Post, the London Review of Books, Boston Review, and other publications. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.
Colin Dayan meditates on the connection between her family history and her relationship with animals in this lyrical memoir about her upbringing in the South. Animal Quintet takes a raw look at racial tensions and relations in a region struggling to change.
“Stimulating and lyrical, her book suggests a unique, trans-species approach to understanding ourselves as well as the limits of human cognition and the hubris that inheres in all the things we create…Intellectually fierce reading for philosophically minded readers, especially dog lovers.”
Abused dogs, prisoners tortured in Guantánamo and supermax facilities, or slaves killed by the state–all are deprived of personhood through legal acts. The Law Is a White Dog tackles key societal questions: How does the law construct our identities?
Thursday, April 27, 2023 – 4pm
Listen to Colin Dayan on The Curious Professor podcast
The Heberle Lecture and Award Ceremony
Haiti as Method: On Haiti, History, and the Gods at 25
Colin Dayan: Legal Sorcery
“IN ALL MY WORK, early and late,” writes Colin Dayan, “I have known that reason is a problem, not a privilege, that lives lived close to the soil and in the flesh have much to offer, and not just for anthropologists (or nostalgics), but for anyone who longs to know another kind of politics beyond the wrack and ruin of humankind.”
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