Pocha Poetics in the Translation of Chicana Feminist Theory

Alicia Gaspar de Alba
Chicano and Chicana Studies, English, Gender Studies
UC Los Angeles

With the exception of two books, Chicana feminist/lesbian discourse is not available in Spanish. The mission of the Codex Nepantla project is to translate Chicana feminist/lesbian theory into Spanish, with the interpretive power of visual art. The purpose of this seminar is to discuss the ethics and politics of translation, particularly in relation to translation as a postcolonial praxis and as a tool for resistance and social change. This seminar would explore the process of creating a Chicana feminist vocabulary in Spanish and visual art for terms such as “mestiza consciousness,” the “Shadow Beast,” “the Coatlicue State,” “the hermeneutics of love,” “third space feminism,” “the decolonial imaginary,” the “postnational,” “queer mestizaje,” and “conocimiento.” How do we give agency to our own colonized tongue to communicate these theories of self-empowerment to our sisters south of the border? How does art, and specifically Chicana iconography, function as a common language between Chicanas and Mexicanas?