Drawing on literary texts, conversion manuals, and colonial correspondence from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain and Peru, Forms of Relation shows the importance of textual, religious, and bureaucratic ties to struggles over colonial governance and identities.

Goldmark analyzes these ties as forms of kinship forged outside of the well-studied paradigms of sex, biology, and procreation. He demonstrates how colonial actors—Spanish and Indigenous—vied for power when they argued that identity could be shaped by spiritual fatherhood, standardized education, or the regulation of doctrine.

Forms of Relation illustrates why we must interrogate the dominant paradigms of mestizaje, heterosexuality, and biology that are too often left unchallenged in studies of Spanish colonialism, demonstrating how nonprocreative kinships shaped the Spanish colonial regime.

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