The question “How is it possible to know Latinidad?,” posed by late queer Latino critic José Esteban Muñoz (2000), reveals the semantic messiness and the multiple layers of meanings that the term “Latinidad” suggests  in its numerous and contradictory iterations. Yet, rather than indulge in skepticism about this term, I exhort Latina/o studies scholars to reclaim it and deploy it in ways that allow our communities and others to exert agency and  more  control  over  the public  definitions of who we are. If the term “Latinidad” emerged most strongly in literary studies as an abstract signifier that remitted us to the condition of being Latina/o, today     it is more strongly anchored in the social, everyday realities of our diasporic communities and in the spaces populated by Latinas/os of various nationalities, generations, immigrant statuses, and racial and gender identities. It now signals the mutual transculturations and horizontal hierarchies that emerge in …

This essay may be found on page 113 of the printed volume.

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