About the Series
Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Nations is a criti-
cal 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 geo-cultural and geopolitical
entity since the nineteenth century. This series provides a starting
point to redefine Latin America as a configuration of political, lin-
guistic, cultural, and economic intersections that demands a con-
tinuous 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 experience.
Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Nations is a forum
that confronts established geo-cultural constructions, rethinks area
studies and disciplinary boundaries, assesses convictions of the
academy and of public policy, and correspondingly demands that
the practices through which we produce knowledge and under-
standing about and from Latin America be subject to rigorous and
critical scrutiny.
In this pathbreaking work, Walter D. Mignolo further pierces
the surface episteme of rationality marking Western modernity to
reveal its terrible and hidden underside. Western modernity, he
shows convincingly, is inseparable from the logic of coloniality:
modernity’s elaborate façade of “civilizing” and “civilization” covers
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