Intertextual Politics: Presence, Erasure, and the Hopi Language

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McElgunn, Hannah
Social Sciences , Intertextuality , Indigenous languages , Hopi , Recontextualization
Forms of Hopi cultural knowledge, and the Hopi language in particular, circulate across Indigenous and settler speech communities. Circulation is a process of recontextualization. In connecting sites of usage, it brings into being different regimes of intertextuality that can either amplify or diminish Hopi presence. To illustrate this, I look at three instances in which outsiders recontextualize Hopi objects or language: archaeologists use potsherds to establish timelines, non-Hopi people use Hopi words as pet and brand names, and I use Hopi sentences for linguistic analysis in my own research. Each recontextualization threatens to erase Hopi presence in the here and now, which tribal members contest through acts of what I call indexical tethering.