Mostern, Ruth. 2011. "Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern": The Spatial Organization of the Song State (960 – 1276 CE). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center. 396 pages, ISBN-13 978-0674056022 Cloth ($49.95)

Patrick Manning
2012 Journal of World-Systems Research  
2009. Maya Nationalisms and Postcolonial Challenges in Guatemala: Coloniality, Modernity, and Identity Politics. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Social Research. 210 pages, ISBN 978-1-930618-13-8 Paper (34.95). As peripheral states emerged from dictatorships and began to democratize in the neoliberal era, explicitly indigenous organizations and movements began to assert civil and legal rights as citizens. These indigenous movements were not new developments but received renewed attention in a
more » ... -dictatorship political atmosphere. The florescence of literature on indigenous politics and social movements that has arisen since the 1970s reflects an intellectual landscape which has broadened to recognize the interrelational characteristics of structurally divided societal groups, including those labeled indigenous. No longer relegated to the background in the intellectual and political fields, indigenous peoples are asserting a right to inclusion in the modern world. As an indigenous intellectual, Emilio del Valle Escalante's presence in academia as a movement scholar and activist challenges modernity's rigid hold on knowledge production. Little has been written explicitly on the Guatemalan Maya movement (with the notable exception of Kay Warren's Indigenous Movements and their Critics, 1998 Princeton). Emilio del Valle Escalante's Maya Nationalisms and Postcolonial Challenges in Guatemala seeks to close this gap in the literature by articulating the unique intellectual character of the Guatemalan Maya movement. Del Valle Escalante does this through a literary analysis of the historical development of knowledge surrounding indigeneity, which at times is underdeveloped, and the ways the Maya movement challenges dominant constructions of indigeneity. Using Anibal Quijano's theory on the coloniality of power, del Valle Escalante provides a textual analysis of several prominent indigenismo intellectuals of Guatemala, both Maya and non-Maya, to highlight the way indigenous peoples struggle to alter hegemonic discourse and at times fall prey to it. The Maya movement in Guatemala is principally an intellectual endeavor, engaged in primarily by journalists and academics that have obtained the social status to disseminate information widely. Writing forms the foundation from which the culturally dominant power in society disseminates information on the native. In turn, the Maya movement appropriates this knowledge in order to reconceptualize discourse on native peoples. Del Valle Escalante recognizes the challenges indigenous intellectuals face in gaining the ability to participate in the mass media and as such highlights the importance of how contemporary capitalism influences the political perspectives of individual authors in the movement. The main questions the book addresses are what kind of nation is being (re)constructed in the challenges posed by the Maya movement and what kind of interethnic relationships does the Maya movement propose for Guatemalan society. Through these questions del Valle Escalante attempts to articulate a conceptualization of indigeneity that considers the indigenous as fully modern peoples whose locus of articulation is on "the other" side of the colonial divide. The Maya movement seeks intercultural exchange of knowledge on equal terms. Del Valle Escalante argues that through the development of a subaltern epistemology and knowledge exchange a more just and democratic society can evolve. Part Two of Maya Nationalisms discusses attempts by the state to institute a project of interculturality and the reproduction of coloniality in the specific case of intercultural education. BOOK REVIEWS 117 Analyzing various authors that contribute to the debate surrounding interculturality, del Valle Escalante, a Maya K'iche intellectual, critically engages with other indigenous intellectuals arguing that the intercultural project is merely a recycling of the coloniality of power. While remaining within the text's stated objectives, del Valle Escalante leaves the reader desiring a deeper analysis of how the coloniality of power pertains to the situation of the Maya movement beyond the discursive level. However, this only comes out in the conclusion. Confronting capitalist tensions and the coloniality of power, del Valle Escalante argues "the Maya movement should articulate a critical perspective that organically ties its situation to the historical processes that have produced the conditions of inequality we have been confronted with historically" (p. 158), which is consistent with the structure of this brief text. This text highlights the ways indigenous intellectuals are engaging in the discursive transformation of Guatemalan society through the Maya movement. Through a critical analysis of literary texts, del Valle Escalante contributes to the reappropriation of Maya history by Maya peoples. Challenging the coloniality of power and those indigenous intellectuals whose imaginations conform to the patterns of knowledge of the dominators, del Valle Escalante offers the Maya movement a framework for decolonizing knowledge through historical analysis on the origins of inequality. Chen, Xiangming. 2009. Shanghai Rising: State Power and Local Transformation in a Global Megacity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 280 Pages, ISBN-13 978-0816654888 Paper ($25); ISBN-13: 978-0816654871 Cloth ($75) Çalişkan, Koray. 2010. Market Threads: How Cotton Farmers and Traders Create a Global Commodity. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 248 pages, ISBN 978-0-691-14241-8 Cloth ($39.50). Across the social sciences, scholars have long debated how markets emerge and operate. Economic scholars emphasize the natural forces of supply and demand that regulate markets and commodity prices, while sociologists draw attention to the role of social relationships in actively creating and shaping market operations. In Market Threads, Çalişkan contributes to this debate by using the case of cotton production to illuminate the complex workings of markets on the
doi:10.5195/jwsr.2012.585 fatcat:vtzkikusjvcyrbnu7vhxbs3xau