Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu

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University of Chicago Press
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About the Author

Edgar Garcia is the Neubauer Family Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography and Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


"Garcia's excellent book demonstrates how indigenous sign systems such as pictographs, petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, and khipu continue to communicate to all who know how to activate and interpret them . . . These signs continue to make meaning in that dynamic area between the 'archive' and the 'repertoire, ' animated through use and practice. Signs of the Americas, drawing on contemporary art, activism, and legal practice, makes a compelling argument about why we all need to understand these highly expressive and powerful sign systems."--Diana Taylor, New York University
"Signs of the Americas reconceptualizes literary studies by foregrounding objects often subsumed or overlooked in modern and contemporary inter-American literary texts. Garcia rehearses a complex of ideas and forms--signs and situations, structures and events--in his proliferating arguments. Each chapter is a dynamic case study, producing startling combinations of poetic figures, geographic locations, and methodological frames. Signs of theAmericas is an ambitious, energizing, and original contribution to various fields of cultural scholarship."--Roberto Tejada, University of Houston
"In Signs of the Americas, Garcia pries us away from received notions. He reveals that pictographs say more than we have previously thought. Bold and conceptually beautiful . . . Garcia's poetics of anthropology and ethnography pay off very well here, especially his agility in framing figures to argue for creativity and agency."--Doris Sommer, Harvard University