Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Signs of the AmericasA Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edgar Garcia

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226658971

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226659169.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Pictography, Law, and Earth

Pictography, Law, and Earth

Gerald Vizenor, John Borrows,and Louise Erdrich

(p.95) 3 Pictography, Law, and Earth
Signs of the Americas

Edgar Garcia

University of Chicago Press

This chapter continues to explore the poetics of pictography, especially its relation to the law. It examines the uses of Anishinaabe pictography in contemporary legal contexts, challenging the notion that the law must necessarily inhere in alphabetic writing, let alone in the colonialist inscriptive norms of the nation. Explaining how pictography elicits a loosened relation between sign and signified, this chapter develops a semiotic theory of nonisomorphy to analyze uses of pictography in the work of several Anishinaabe scholars and writers: in John Borrows’s advocacy of “jurisgenerative multiperspectivalism” in Drawing Out Law, in Gerald Vizenor’s conception of social irony and ironic constitutionalism (theorizing Vizenor’s authorship of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation in 2007–8 to be coextensive with his creative uses of pictographic amphiboly in Summer in the Spring), and in Louise Erdrich’s figuration of ecological literacy and reciprocity in Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country. This chapter also engages the scholarship of Edmund Burke, Lisa Brooks, Seyla Benhabib, and Elizabeth Povinelli to argue that pictographic indeterminacy can consolidate public spheres and political communities with special ability to adjust over time, to meet present social pressures, and to negotiate inter-societal collaboration.

Keywords:   petroglyph, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, Canada, law, constitution, community, amphiboly, environmentalism, pictography

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.