Translating the Queer

Body Politics and Transnational Conversations

Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba


Examines how queer theory has migrated to and developed within Latin America and asks how far the queer can go as a conceptual tool.

What does it mean to queer a concept? If queerness is a notion that implies a destabilization of the normativity of the body, then all cultural systems contain zones of discomfort relevant to queer studies. What then might we make of such zones when the use of the term queer itself has transcended the fields of sex and gender, becoming a metaphor for addressing such cultural phenomena as hybridization, resignification, and subversion? Further still, what should we make of it when so many people are reluctant to use the term queer, because they view it as theoretical colonialism, or a concept that loses its specificity when applied to a culture that signifies and uses the body differently?

Translating the Queer focuses on the dissemination of queer knowledge, concepts, and representations throughout Latin America, a migration that has been accompanied by concomitant processes of translation, adaptation, and epistemological resistance.

Author Bio

Héctor Domínguez Ruvalcaba is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas, Austin, where he teaches queer and gender issues in Latin American literature, film, and culture.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Troubles and Travels of the Queer
  • 1. Queer Decolonization
  • 2. Queerness and the Nation in Peripheral Modernity
  • 3. LGBT Politics and Culture
  • 4. Beyond LGBT Struggles: Trans Politics and Neoliberal Sex
  • Conclusion


‘Ruvalcaba offers a concrete vision of queer resistance, one that it is not just a movement for gender liberation but also a transnational quest to decolonize the present. A must read for anyone grappling with queer politics in the Americas.’
Holly Lewis, author of The Politics of Everybody

‘A profound work that will illuminate both how, through the figure of the queer, Latin Americanists should consider central concepts such as the nation, citizenship, and identity; and how queer theorists outside Latin America might envision a more thorough understanding of histories of the queer.’
Ben. Sifuentes-Jáuregui, author of The Avowal of Difference: Queer Latino American Narratives

'Ruvalcaba’s significant contribution to queer studies is a survey of the field’s more contemporary scholarship produced in Latin America and abroad … very useful for scholars looking to expand the exchanges between translation and queer theories.'
Translation Studies

'There is much to be learned from Translating the Queer about socio-sexual processes in Latin America and the always-frayed fabric of the heterosexist project.'
David William Foster, Anthropological Forum


Publication Date: 15 November 2016
208 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783602926
Hardback: 9781783602933
eBook ePub: 9781783602957
eBook PDF: 9781783602940
eBook Kindle: 9781783602964

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