ABOUT THE SERIES
Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Nations is a critical series.
It aims to explore the emergence and consequences of concepts used to
define‘‘LatinAmerica’’whileatthesametimeexploringthebroadinter-
playof political, economic, and cultural practices that have shaped Latin
Americanworlds.LatinAmerica,atthecrossroadsofcompetingimperial
designsandlocalresponses,hasbeenconstruedasageoculturalandgeo-
political entity since the nineteenth century.This series provides a start-
ing point to redefine Latin America as a configuration of political, lin-
guistic, 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 experience. Latin America Otherwise:
Languages, Empires, Nations is a forum that confronts established geocul-
turalconstructions,thatrethinksareastudiesanddisciplinaryboundaries,
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.
We know much about Potosí’s silver mines and their role in sustain-
ing Spanish colonialism.We know surprisingly little, however, about the
socialmatrixofproduction,trade,andconsumptiongeneratedbyseven-
teenth-century mining; we know little, in other words, about the quo-
tidian practices of early capitalism in the Americas. Jane Mangan’s ex-
traordinary study provides us with the ethnographicvision we have long
needed.
Spaniards,Indians,andBlacks,nolongerproducingtheirownsubsis-
tence,wereforcedtoenterPotosí’sexpandingmarketeconomy.Mangan
highlights the participation of women—especially women of indigenous
descent—as well as the activities of other non-elites in this process. By
focusing on the gendered and racial dimensions of economic practices,
Mangan analyzes how mercantilism became a vehicle for the formation
of social identities. By analytically divorcing the economy from its so-
cial fabric, her book makes us see what has been lost. Trading Roles is a
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