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Colin Dayan

Colin Dayan is Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. Her books include The Law Is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake PersonsThe Story of Cruel and Unusual, and Haiti, History, and the Gods and With Dogs at the Edge of Life, a fierce personal enquiry into canine profiling, preemptive justice, and extermination. She has recently published the memoirs Looking for Ghosts and Animal Quintet.

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Long before Joe Arpaio became a household name, he was busy reinventing chain gangs, criminalizing detainees, and persecuting anyone who crossed his path. A series of exclusive photos from 1995 takes us back.

Colin Dayan
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Undocumented immigrants face horrible conditions in U.S. detention, with little legal recourse.

Colin Dayan
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On the cruelties the South doles out to animals, children, and black folks.

Colin Dayan
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On Lori Gruen’s Entangled Empathy

Colin Dayan
A black and white dog sits politely in a car seat. A golden halo has been drawn around its head.

The Church has always had a vexed, somewhat aggrieved relation to dogs and their status as things to be blessed or sanctified.

Colin Dayan
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On Gregory Berns's How Dogs Love Us.

Colin Dayan
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Jonathan Katz has written the book about the Haitian earthquake. How does he contextualize the tragedy in the country's history?

Colin Dayan
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Talking about Gaza is like talking about God. We face the ineffable. We cannot talk about what we see. 

Colin Dayan
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Michel-Rolph Trouillot died on July 5.

Colin Dayan
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Your pit bull is too violent to live—even if it isn’t.

Colin Dayan
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I went back to Haiti on August 15, a year and a half after the earthquake. The place where I had lived on and off since the summer of 1970 was unrecognizable. But the politics were familiar.

Colin Dayan
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Serge Avedikian’s Barking Island.

Colin Dayan
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Today’s pit bull bans tell us more about ourselves than about the breed. The drive to label, condemn, and exterminate has become a moral enterprise.

Colin Dayan
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It is now eight days since an earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince.

Colin Dayan
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When my father was dying, he wanted me to read him Lamentations and Ezekiel

Colin Dayan
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Aimé Césaire’s miraculous words.

Colin Dayan
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Do Prisoners Have a Right to Read What they Want?

Colin Dayan
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The end of the Eighth Amendment.

Colin Dayan