27 February 2016

Dogs, Art, Life

Posted by Anna Thornton

Colin Dayan is one of our most challenging thinkers on law and ethics. Law is a White Dog: How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons made the argument that the process of law often acts in a way that diminishes the personhood of those it professes to serve. Her latest book With Dogs at the Edge of Life continues the canine metaphor, looking at how our relationships with dogs might shape our political, ethical and moral ideas.

The book has been widely acclaimed for its original and provocative ideas; the Times Higher Education Supplement wrote that it allows the reader to “conceive of a more humane way to see the world”.

She is – you won't be surprised to learn –- a dog lover, and has used her attachment to man's (and, of course, woman's) best friend to construct a new way of looking at the world, and at the other sentient beings we share it with.

Mixing personal memoir, cultural reference and jurisprudential theory, Dayan questions our ethical and political assumptions through a thrilling examination of the complex relationships between the human and the non-human. Living with dogs truly can change your life.

Colin Dayan will be at the shop on Wednesday 9 March to talk about her ideas with Phillip Hoare, author of the award-winning Leviathan and a powerful advocate for the human importance of the non-human natural world. The evening will be hosted by Gareth Evans, Curator of Film at the Whitechapel Gallery. You can book tickets here. Cat people are also welcome.