about the series
Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Nations is a crit-
ical series. It aims to explore the emergence and consequences of
concepts used to define ‘‘Latin America’’ while at the same time
exploring the broad interplay of political, economic, and cultural
practices that have shaped Latin American worlds. Latin Amer-
ica, at the crossroads of competing imperial designs and local
responses, has been construed as a geocultural and geopolitical
entity since the nineteenth century. This series provides a start-
ing point to redefine Latin America as a configuration of politi-
cal, linguistic, cultural, and economic intersections that demands
a continuous reappraisal of the role of the Americas in history,
and of the ongoing process of globalization and the relocation of
people and cultures that have characterized Latin America’s ex-
perience. Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Na-
tions is a forum that confronts established geocultural construc-
tions, that rethinks area studies and disciplinary boundaries, that
assesses convictions of the academy and of public policy, and
that, correspondingly, demands that the practices through which
we produce knowledge and understanding about and from Latin
America be subject to rigorous and critical scrutiny.
This collection of essays examines the cultural politics of
nation-building in the Andes. Comparisons extend across coun-
tries—Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia—and across time,
from the half century before independence through the middle
of the twentieth century. Its focus is on the cultural tensions gen-
erated by the extraordinary transformations involved in state-
making: in other words, it looks at struggles between and across
ethnic groups, genders, and the Andes’ few elite and many sub-
altern peoples.
We have no comparative studies of this kind which make
clear both the significance of the cultural dimensions of power
and the varied courses that cultrual politics can take. The volume
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