“Performance” and “Latina/o” gained popularity as critical keywords designating objects of study and critical optics for the analysis and theorization of Latina/o life and culture in the United States during the 1990s. The coincidence between the gradual eclipsing of “Hispanic” by “Latina/o”—as the umbrella designator for interethnic and pan-ethnic social interactions, imaginaries, and coalitions of Latin American–descent populations in the United States—and the rise of performance—as a cultural unit and as a theoretical approach to identity as iterative effort rather than stable truth—led to the emergence of latinidad as a term that more accurately renders the dynamic, processual nature of the ethno-national range and crossings “Latina/o” as a concept sought to encompass. This shift to performance and latinidad also avoids the settler-colonialist assumptions behind the privileging of Spanish or Hispanic as the primary unifying feature of Latin American–descent populations by extending the repertoires of cultural practice central to Latina/o studies beyond those centered on linguistic genealogies, especially writing, and moving beyond Spanish European heritage and colonial history into an engagement with the plurality of the region and its traveled histories, including African, Asian, and Indigenous routes and communities. Moreover, this shift, a critical performative feat in and of itself, also...

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