Animal Mobilegalities

The Regulation of Animal Movement in the American City


  • Irus Braverman



The initial focus of “animobility” scholarship has been on the dynamic physical geographies of animals. This article extends the meaning of animobility to explore the ways in which animals are affected — and, in fact, constituted — by law, as well as the ways in which they affect and constitute law, which I call “mobilegalities.” Specifically, I ask how animobility in contemporary American cities translates into the animals’ legal mobility, and how laws can adapt to animobility and the ensuing mobilegality by setting “traps” that then immobilize the animals. This article demonstrates, finally, that law is not a static narrative that produces monophonic meaning, but a living process that feeds on, and depends upon, dynamic human-nonhuman assemblages. The different modes of classification discussed here — body, taxonomy, and law — provide a yardstick by which to think of the rigidity and flexibility of mobilegality itself, constituting a matrix for the mobilization of legality.


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Author Biography

Irus Braverman

Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Her scholarship lies in the nexus of law, geography, anthropology, and posthumanism. Writing from this perspective, Braverman has researched illegal houses, trees, checkpoints, public toilets, animals in the city, doors, police dogs, and zoos. She is author of House Demolitions in East Jerusalem: “Illegality” and Resistance (2006), Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (Stanford University Press, 2012) and Managing Wild Life(under review, Chicago University Press). Braverman also co-edited The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (forthcoming, Stanford University Press). In 2013-4, Braverman is a fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities as well as a Ryskamp fellow at the American Councel of Learned Societies (ACLS).




How to Cite

Braverman, I. (2013). Animal Mobilegalities: The Regulation of Animal Movement in the American City. Humanimalia, 5(1), 104–135.