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Determ ination, Determ inations, and D issem ination Leri Findlay University ofSaskatchewan 1 ^ .ead in g the en g a g em en ts, sometimes direct and sometimes oblique, with my exhortation to “Always Indigenize!” has brought home to me both the inescapable deficiencies and limited impact of academic writing, and the need to continue to do it. At a time when significant but selective re-investment in Canada’s universities threatens to make them more neocolonial than postcolonial, the need to make our universities and colleges the object of inquiry as well as its locus has rarely been more urgent. And what happens in Canada must also be seen in international perspective in order that we gain a clearer sense of where we need to be directing our current critical and communicative efforts, and who might join us from away in robustly academic multilateralism. There is a double infinity to any text: an infinity internal to its exegesis, and an infinity of contexts which will inflect or direct interpretation ever differently. The essays that follow here demonstrate this in provocative and inspiring ways. Paulomi Chakraborty shows how a universalizing term like “Always” implicates the problem of universals as such, and their specific Enlightenment and Euro-imperialist histories. She reframes Indigenizing outside the settler-colony frame in realities that show the limits to settlement in India while testing the notion of Indigenousness ESC 30.3 (September 2004): 1-3 Len Findlay co-directs with Marie Battiste the Humanities Research Unit at the University of Saskatchewan. His contribution to the “Always Indigenize!” forum, “Intent for a Nation,” appeared in the last issue of esc (30.2: 39-48). against the exclusions suffered by “Adivasi/tribal” peoples and the limit case of the Dalit. Lynn Mario T. Menezes de Sousa, who gave a wonderful plenary address at the Congress in Winnipeg in 2004, lays out some of his most striking arguments here. He explains the situation of Indigenous peoples and languages in Brazil where the linguistic nation has endeavoured to accommodate the diversity of literacies active within it. Educational policy is well intentioned but distorting and assimilative, and its limits can be mapped in the scene of “writing” from a “third space” beyond both academic and indigenous vantages yet representing both metropolitan centrality and Third World marginality. A socially-based visual perpectivism reveals just how wrong Ong and his many disciples were about aboriginal orality, while reminding readers that academic work and personal interaction look very different when the seer is always also seen. While authenticity remains in the eye of the dominant beholder, hybridity will be seen and resisted as contamination and corruption rather than the necessary self-transformations of indigenous peoples. Ignorance and arrogance converge to ensure the Other stays pure. The contribution by Rosemary Hennessy, an American scholar, offers further, strongly contrasting variations on the theme of indigenizing as a decolonizing practice. She grounds her essay firmly in the direc­ tive contexts of n a fta and north-south relations in Mexico today. She understands indigenizing at this geopolitical moment as critical memory, local knowing, resistant mobilization, and the modelling of alternatives to hegemonic social and economic formations. As maquiladoras migrate southwards in Mexico and indigenous peoples northwards, the potential for exploitation intensifies, but so does the ability to find alternatives and to share those with others who will adapt them to their own needs. This is where the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras comes in, and where Hennessy and her collaborators from Canada, the United States, and Mexico are indigenizing, leading from below as the Zaptistas would say, by collecting testimony for organization and publication from those who have had to survive where capital meets— and depletes or displaces— campesina and caracol. Like the essays in the first part of this forum, the three published here evince a diversity that Cheryl Suzack joins Victor Li and Edward Said in welcoming as cautionary and productive “untidiness.” I accept the basic impetus behind and effect of this term. But I feel the need to add two caveats. First, untidiness can be a euphemism for irresponsibility and injustice of the most heinous sort, as in Secretary Rumsfeld’s appeal to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1913-4835
Print ISSN
0317-0802
Pages
pp. 1-3
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-03
Open Access
No
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