Author Archives: Austin Hoffman

Austin is a PhD student-worker at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Anthropology. His research uses multispecies methodologies to examine human-canid relationships and how racial and colonial logics are articulated through them.
A yellow version of the Spot robot stands besides men in military garb

Automating the Beast: Modern Police Power and the (Digi)Dog

As an undergraduate, I worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. For one of those jobs, I was a kennel attendant at a veterinary clinic and  earned $7.75 an hour. I was responsible for caring for dogs that were kept in the boarding facility while their (usually affluent) owners were out of town on business or vacation. I kept track of every dog’s diet, administered medications, and took them out for bathroom breaks. It was, without a doubt, the most thankless and exploitative job I’ve ever had. However, I did enjoy the relative solitude and the company of dogs. (read more...)