This book emerged from an interdisciplinary collective linked by a com-
mon concern with theorizing and in some cases reinterpreting Chicana/o
experiences and their representations. As five Chicanas trained in varied
scholarly disciplines—anthropology, folklore, psychology, literature, and
history—and from different generations with diverse backgrounds and his-
tories, we developed this transdisciplinary project to capture the new chal-
lenges posed by feminist dialogues. The fissures and tensions generated
from our distinct backgrounds and approaches forced us to confront the es-
sentialism that has been stereotypically imposed on us as ‘‘Chicanas’’ and
to negotiate a multidisciplinary framework that integrated our respective
interests. Furthermore, our commitment to a collective enterprise com-
pelled us to find productive ways of engaging our differences.
The Chicano/Latino Research Center (clrc) at the University of Cali-
fornia, Santa Cruz proved critical to our pursuit. With support from State
Senate Concurrent Resolution 43 funds and under the leadership of Norma
Klahn and Pedro Castillo, we founded this campuswide research unit in
1992 to foster interchange among ucsc faculty to encourage and promote
more nuanced understandings of transnational Chicano/Latino communi-
ties. Mindful of the multiple changes generated by globalization, increased
transnational migrations from Latin America, and complex processes of
identity and cultural formation, the clrc selected ‘‘cross-border perspec-
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