INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT AND THE VOLUME/
ENACTING A TRANSLOCAL FEMINIST POLITICS OF TRANSLATION
sonia e. alvarez
This book explores how feminist discourses and practices travel across a vari-
ety of sites and directionalities to become interpretive paradigms to read and
write issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, migration, health, social move-
ments, development, citizenship, politics, and the circulation of identities
and texts. The notion of translation is deployed figuratively to emphasize the
ways these travels are politically embedded within larger questions of glo-
balization and involve exchanges across diverse localities, especially between
and among women in Latin America and Latinas in the United States. The
contributors including authors from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and
Mexico, as well as East and West Coast–based Latinas of Cuban, Puerto Rican,
Mexican, Chilean, Peruvian, and Dominican descent and other U.S. women of
color and allies enact a politics of translation by unabashedly trafficking in
feminist theories and practices across geopolitical, disciplinary, and other bor-
ders, bringing insights from Latina/women of color/postcolonial feminisms
in the North of the Américas to bear on our analyses of theories, practices,
cultures, and politics in the South and vice versa.
Translation is politically and theoretically indispensable to forging femi-
nist, prosocial justice, antiracist, postcolonial/decolonial, and anti-imperial
political alliances and epistemologies because the Latin/a Américas as a
transborder cultural formation rather than a territorially delimited one must
be understood as translocal in a dual sense. The first sense we deploy that
of translocation builds on but moves beyond U.S. Third World feminist con-
ceptions of the “politics of location.” Because a feminist politics of location
involves “a temporality of struggle, not a fixed position,” as Claudia de Lima
Costa argues in the Introduction to Debates about Translation, we must be at-
tentive to the social and power relations that “produce location and situated
knowledges.”1 Yet as Agustín Lao-Montes suggests, Latina/os, and Afro-Latina/
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