legal regimes of intellectual property shape (although they do not determine) the ways in which cultural signs are re/appropriated by those who assert difference in the spaces of similarity, imitating, and mimicking signs of authority to express relations of alterity (27).
In chapter 5, Coombe examines the politics of authenticity and cultural authority. Coombe complicates cultural tradition by addressing the potential dangerous of cultural essentialism since it is often shaped by Eurocentric ideas of culture (214). Our conceptualization of property rights is rooted in a westernized logic that fails to understand other modes of property. For instance, Loretta Todd reveals that First Nations people discuss “property in terms of relationships that are far wider than the exclusivity of possession and rights to alienate that dominate European concepts” (245). Not only is the romantic author narrative ruptured in these discussions of cultural appropriation, but it also exposes the limitations of hegemonic Western conceptions of property.
1. In chapter 5, Coombe demands non-Native people to recognize the limitations of western conceptions of property since they are built by colonial foundations, but in doing so, do we reinforce a type of violence when we try to acknowledge a new reality? The reason I ask this is because the language we have historically created in order to understand the properties of culture(s) is historically contingent upon a Western hegemony. How can non-Native people, in this case, be held accountable when acknowledging other realities?
2. Can strategic essentialism be a form of counterhegemonic struggle? If so, what are the potential dangerous of this political agenda?