Posted by: Johan Normark | August 24, 2010

Cleaning out my closet (well, my computer anyway)

All things come to an end. So is my current postdoctoral employment at Stockholm University. My main financial support runs out sometime this fall. Before that I need to finish up my current projects and some other articles as best as I can. However, some of them will be continued next year. The following notes will be reminders for me to maintain my schedule.

My current research will be “launched” as a multistage rocket with six stages. The first stage has already been sent to print but I have no idea when it will be printed. It should have been published already in 2009 in the journal Acta Americana. This is my article “Maya chaosmos: 2600 years on the cave’s path” which is a look at the cave as a basin of attraction for settlement change in the Cochuah region in Mexico. Stage 2 is a related article preliminary entitled “The cosmological entrapment in Mayanist cave studies” which is a critique of Mayanist cosmological modelling in cave studies. I plan to send this to Antiquity. Stage 3 is focusing on the geophilosophical writings of Deleuze and Guattari. This article is called “Not only the home of the Earth Lord: Caves as smooth, striated and holey spaces” and shall focus on the transformations of space in the settlements of the Cochuah region. Hopefully Journal of Social Archaeology finds this of interest. Stage 4 will be the longest article, entitled “The Spanish Colonial impact’s relevance for the mega-drought hypothesis for the Classic Maya collapse”. This article, aimed for Ancient Mesoamerica, is the most important one and is a critique of palaeoclimatic explanations for the so-called Maya collapse. Stage 5 will basically summarize my doctoral and postdoctoral research in the Cochuah region from the viewpoint of assemblage formation on several scales. This article is almost complete since an earlier version of it has been reviewed and asked to be resubmitted. The article is called “Archaeology beyond culture: Arborescent orders, rhizomatic connections and concrete assemblages” and has been reviewed by Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Stage 6 will release the book that connects all these articles into a greater assemblage called: Holy Places, Holey Spaces, and Emergent Wholes: Caves and Climate Change in the Northern Maya Lowlands.

I have some other stuff that I hope can be finished before the end of 2011. I am currently writing up a proposal for a short term project that deals with the 2012 phenomenon. I have decided to focus on a limited amount of themes that anyhow focuses on what I consider to be central to this phenomenon. This will result in an article comparing Apocalypto and 2012 (not the movie). The article is tentatively called “Apocalypto and 2012 – academic and non-academic interpretations of the Maya”. A short book called Millenarianism and the Maya Long Count: How to Overcode Academic Research with Ethnocentrism is planned. It will be studying the 2012 phenomenon from Deleuze and Guattari’s regimes of signs.

I will also finish up an old article located in the very back of the closet that needs to be reworked according to earlier reviewers so I can resubmit it. This is my “dense” article “The archaeological event horizon: temporal considerations to the use of practice and agency theories in archaeology” (submitted to Norwegian Archaeological Review). This article should be finished since I plan to use it and another unfinished article on temporality for a future project on the meshing of temporal frequencies and materials.

Finally, a very old idea on birth dates among Maya rulers will be elaborated from Protevi’s analysis of body politics and political affect for a workshop presentation at Stockholm University. The title of that presentation and the future article is “The road of life: Body politics of Lady Wak Chanil Ajaw”. That will be one of my last activities within my current employment.  Hopefully, by the beginning of next year I have emptied most the closet and I am ready to fill it up with something new.



  1. Johan;

    Best of luck with your ‘cleaning’, and if there is anything I can do to further your 2012 research, you have only to ask.

  2. Two days ago I sent in an application for some funding to be able to write something more substantial on the ethnocentrism that prevails in the 2012circus. We’ll see if someone finds it of interest. Anyway, my focus is on the archaeological part of the circus rather than the astronomical part but I may have to touch the astronomical issues anyway, particularly with the “galactic alignment” stuff. I plan to focus on Jenkins and Calleman (particularly since they have had their own quarrel of who is doing the right interpretation).


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