Article published in:Circulating Signs and People: Politics, affect, ethnography
Edited by Daniel N. Silva
[Pragmatics and Society 6:2] 2015
► pp. 217–239
Semiophors and sexual systems
The circulation of words and women
This article examines physical and linguistic sites through which women and words about women circulate along Latin America’s Interoceanic Road, running from the Brazilian to the Peruvian coast. I argue that the discourse on women circulates with specific linguistic-packaging, made and remade at different sites. In analyzing how these sites form ‘cartographies of communicability’ (Briggs 2005), this article engages Marilena Chauí’s discussion of the ‘semiophor’ (2000) to refer to people and things that once pulled out of daily circulation, take on new meanings beyond their material existence. By complicating the socially viable/acceptable identities offered/imposed upon these women – victims or voluntary agents, this article seeks to avoid reinscriptions of difference that “muzzle the subaltern” (Spivak 1988), advocating for a practice of ethnographic vigilance.
Keywords: race, communicability, sexuality, gender, circulation
Published online: 24 July 2015
Cited by 1 other publications
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