2020 has not had a shortage of trauma, hardship, loss, and injustice. From a cataclysmic protean and inexorable virus that has—and will continue—to devastate Brown/Black/Indigenous communities, to repeated televised murders of Black and Brown men and women sanctioned by a white supremacist police state, to forced sterilizations of women of color directed by this nation’s ongoing eugenics project—there is a litany of pain, wrongdoing, and despair that has made enduring these interminable crises at times unbearable.
One theorist in particular was a beacon for each of the four essays in this issue. Four contributors serendipitously turned to the work of Latina feminist philosopher and activist María Lugones to inform the transformative and healing projects published here. Lugones’ death in June was yet another misfortune endured this year. Yet, her invaluable contributions to the fields of philosophy, Chicana/Latina feminism, decolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, and Latina/o/x studies transcend her earthly presence and continue to resound with the latest generation of Chicana/Latina feminist scholars.
In this bleak, casi-dystopian time that seems absent of hope and promise, these four essays beckon with Lugones’ reassuring wisdom and summon the larger epistemologies of Chicana/x, Latina/x, Indigena, and Afro-Latina/x tenacity and resilience. They offer examples of solidarity across positionalities and borders; they confirm the value of raised voices; they depict the arduous work of transformation; and they hail the sentience oprimidos like Chicanas/xs, Latinas/xs, Indigenous peoples, and Afro-Latinas/xs draw on to uplift us through the grim work of renewal. They are an apt homage to Lugones’ contributions to the field of Chicana/x and Latina/x studies.
The book reviews and creative writing in this issue are also potent reminders of our continued capacity to envision alternative ways to live, l earn, and love, even through the dreariest of times. For instance, the four books reviewed here imagine a world that is decolonial; one devoid of toxic masculinity; one that no longer stigmatizes the mentally ill; and one that offers more inclusive and just schooling. In the Creative Writing section are voices that both articulate the current onslaught of tribulations and channel the energies needed to reframe them as possibilities.
In our collective struggle to both survive and remake the damaged and noxious parts of our world, we hope the visions and foresight of the Chicana/Latina theoretical interventions and creative imaginings published in this issue offer respite, courage and hope.
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Art as a Tool for Self-Love and Community Empowerment
Theory as a Beacon of Hope
Sonya M. Alemán
Testimoniando y comadreando Across Borders: Latina/s Anónima/s in Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios
“If Aristotle Had Cooked”: Contemporary Feminist Practices within the Rhetoric of Young Latinas’ Spoken Word Performances
Nora K. Rivera
Dusmic Poetic of the Flesh: Decolonial Shifts in Puerto Rican Women’s Fiction
Hilos Rojos: Threading Together an Autohistoria of Art and Conocimiento
Leslie C. Sotomayor
Editor’s Commentary: The Time In-Between
Patricia Marina Trujillo
Laura I. Rendón
Chicana Prayer: What I Wish My Ancestors Would Have Told My Ancestors
Visitation from the Once & Future Pride of Black Arkadelphia
Capullo y Sorullo
Agua de esclavo
Ginger “Dizzy” Jenkins
The Week Ruth Bader Ginsberg Died
Lorna Dee Cervantes
Education as Resistance, Pedagogy as Healing: Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Decolonial Approaches to Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom
Philis M. Barragán Goetz
Piecing Together our Colonial Pasts
Elena Vicentita Valdez
Toward Alternate Latinx Masculinities
Erick John Rodriguez
Dentro de las nubes busqué claridad: Por cariño y amor a mijo desafié el frío de la sociedad