Posted by: Johan Normark | February 1, 2011

The road of life: Bodies politic in the Maya area

I am currently finishing up a short article for the anthology To Tender Gender which concerns the future of gender studies in archaeology. My contribution primarily discusses how neorealist/neomaterialist approaches can be used in studying gender from a non-social constructionist perspective. In the future I plan to use this article and my article on the Face as the basis for a longer peer-reviewed article focusing on a neuroarchaeological  study of some of the data from the Cochuah region. Anyway, here is the abstract for “The road of life: Bodies politic in the Maya area”:

Future gender studies in archaeology will probably be affected by the current neorealist approaches in continental philosophy. In this article I will use Manuel DeLanda’s assemblage theory and John Protevi’s framework of bodies politic to unite the somatic and the social through synchronic and diachronic perspectives. As a case study I shall focus on the ruler B’ajlaj Chan K’awiil of Dos Pilas and his daughter Ix Wak Chan Ajaw of Naranjo in Guatemala. The lives of these rulers’ appear to have been conceptualized as roads along which certain events took place. Common in the hieroglyphic corpus are dates of birth, accession, marriage and death of male and female rulers. During B’ajlaj and Wak Chan’s roads of life they encountered several thresholds that created their unique assemblage(s) and bodies politic.

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