Overview: Key Texts and Thinkers
Many credit Appadurai with the coining of the term translocality. See especially (Appadurai 1995, 1996). Translocality, for Appadurai, speaks to the ways in which communities become extended to other places through the mobility of their citizens.
Latour (especially 1993) has been a big influence on studies of networks in general, and has been taken up by many scholars. He has been particularly important for scholars interested in translocality as a process enrolling human and nonhumans, and for those interested in the circulation of knowledge and power through heterogeneous material networks.
The concepts of affect, emergence, and becoming are particularly associated with Deleuze and Guattari (1987), Spinoza, Bergson, and Whitehead. Work by Stengers (1997), Thrift (1997; 2004; 2007), and Whatmore (2002; 2006) draws on these themes, as well as on Latour’s work. See Ahmed (2004), Thien (2005), and edited collections on emotional geographies (Bondi et al. 2009; Davidson, Bondi, and Smith 2005) for commentaries and critiques. See also Lingis (1994; 2000) for contemplations of translocal phenomenological engagement and becoming.
James Clifford (1997) has been an important reference for scholars interested in translation, mobility, diaspora, and culture, particularly as they relate to the production of knowledge. Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson are also key references for these themes (Gupta and Ferguson 1992, 1997), as is Strathern (1995).
Research into translocal regions such as the Atlantic (e.g., Gilroy 1999 see also the journal Atlantic Studies) has also been an important source of scholarship for thinking through translocality.
Feminist scholars have been important contributors to understanding knowledge as situated and local, and to challenging some of the universalizing tendencies in scholarship about scale, globalization, transnationalism, and networks. See especially Haraway (1988; 1994; 1997; 2008).
Local, Global, Space, Scale
There are numerous close studies of the local and its shaping by diverse practices and processes. See especially (Cameron 1997; Cruikshank 2005; Malpas 1998; Matless 2003; Matless and Cameron 2007). On “local” knowledge and its articulation with other scales, especially in the production of knowledge, see (Bravo 1999; Gibson-Graham 2002; Howitt 2002; Katz 1994, 2001; Marston 2000; Marston, Jones, and Woodward 2005; Powell 2007).
Key readings on space and spatiality as translocal include Massey (1994; 1997; 2005), Mitchell (2006, especially Chapter 1), and Raffles (2002).
Colonialism and Empire
The notion of empire as a network process connecting diverse localities and producing them in particular ways has been taken up in rich and diverse ways. See (Brown 2000; Clayton 2003; Lambert and Lester 2006; Lester 2001, 2003, 2006; Moore 1998; Raffles 1999, 2002).
Clayton (2001/2002) has commented on the limitations of this approach for understanding imperial ‘peripheries’ on their own terms, and for their specificities. Bravo (1999) has considered the complications involved in translating the ‘local’ for other uses/places, and a number of anthropologists (e.g., Raffles 1999, 2002; Moore 1998; Brown 2000) have been developing the concept of “locality” to think through the ways in which places are produced through translocal processes. Many draw on Appadurai (2005) for this. Cruikshank (2005) has explored the ways in which encounters in northwest North America represented the meeting of different “locals” rather than center and periphery. Cameron (2009b) takes up these themes in a study of the Central Arctic. Parry (2002) questions the uncritical uptake of translocal and transnational language without attending to the political-economic processes underpinning imperial, capitalist formations.
Key works by Said (Said 1978, 1983, 1993), Stoler (Stoler 1995, 2002, 2006, 2008), Pratt (Pratt 1992), McClintock (McClintock 1995), and Gregory (Gregory 1994, 1995, 2000) also draw on translocal concerns. See also (Braun 2002; Braun and Castree 1998; Castree and Braun 2001; Clayton 2000).
Migration, Diaspora and Mobility
For general discussions about mobility and movement, see the journal Mobilities, Tim Cresswell’s writings on the history and politics of mobility (especially Cresswell 2006 and Issue 43 of New Formations, devoted to mobilities, edited by Cresswell), and Sheller and Urry’s (2006) review of the “mobility turn” in the social sciences and humanities.
A number of articles engage with the concept of translocality as a way of coming to terms with migration, diaspora, and mobility. Some are critical of the ways in which movement and transnationalism are romanticized (see Political Geography 21 (8) special issue on the geopolitics of mobility and migration, especially introductory essay by Nagel (Nagel 2002)). Others find the concept of translocality more appealing than transnationalism for conceptualizing connections that are not reducible to national territorial or cultural frames. Mandaville (1999) includes extended discussion of how political identities and practices intersect with territoriality, at a time when national borders are no longer adequate boundaries for thinking through affiliation, political subjectivity, and practice.
Uteng and Cresswell (2008) includes many chapters problematizing the gendered and racialized production (and limitations upon) mobility. See also (Blunt 2007; Silvey 2004; Walton-Roberts and Pratt 2005) for feminist interventions into mobility studies.
Conradson and McKay edited a special issue of Mobilities (2007) on translocaity and the emotional, felt geographies of translocal subjectivity. Tolia-Kelly’s (e.g., 2006; 2008) work on affect, mobility, and translocality tackles similar concerns but with greater emphasis on processes of racialization.
Translocality and Sound
Work in this realm is diverse and rich. Attention is paid to the virtual and electronic, to local music scenes and their articulations with other “locals”, to the geographies of sound, to the world music industry, and to music as translocal politics. See (Anderson 2004a, 2004b, 2006; Bull 2004; Cameron and Rogalsky 2006; Connell and Gibson 2003; Feld 2000; Garofalo 1993; Greer and Cameron 2006; Kit-Wai Ma 2002; Zuberi 2001)
A number of studies of the translocal and the networked attend to notions of materiality. Understandings of materiality are diverse and draw upon historical materialist, feminist, posthumanist, material culture, and phenomenological foundations. See (Anderson and Wylie 2009; Bakker and Bridge 2006; Bridge and Smith 2003; Cameron 2009a; Hetherington 1997; Law 1994, 1999; McEwan 2003; Miller 1998; Parry 2004; Thomas 1991; Whatmore 2006).