“Your guess is as good as any”: Indeterminacy, dialogue, and dissemination in interpretations of native american rock art

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Abstract

This essay examines the theme of the unknown meanings of Native American rock art in interpretive materials at rock art sites in order to explore the rhetorical constitution of indeterminacy in neocolonial contexts. The implications of indeterminacy are explored through Peters's (1999) discussion of dissemination and dialogue as normative models of communication. This analysis demonstrates that indeterminacy is used to license appropriations and polysemic interpretations of the traces of indigenous cultures, thereby enabling the projection of Western cultural imaginings onto the rock art and discouraging engagement with the interiority of indigenous others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-65
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of International and Intercultural Communication
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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Keywords

  • Dissemination
  • Indeterminacy
  • Interiority
  • Neocolonialism
  • Primitivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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