Translation both illuminates and obscures. Contemporary French philosopher Catherine Malabou’s signature plasticité is exemplary of this process, for in English it sheds a key facet. Plasticity expresses the ability to mold or take form; however, the French term also resonates with plasticage, that is, explosion. After all, form is also produced by destruction. Like the explosive potential hidden in plasticity, this entry on ‘Translating Feminist Philosophers’ not only attests to a re-forming of philosophy, but also lies like a bomb within a handbook whose fourteen named philosophers are all, exclusively, men.

As a result of centuries of oppression of women, feminist philosophers – thinkers anywhere on the gender spectrum whose philosophy is informed by the knowledge and experiences of women – are construed by the mainstream as a recent, and marginal, presence within the ancient discipline. Admittedly, although they were there all the time and in all places, it was only in the 1970s that feminist voices in philosophy achieved institutionalisation in academia. Responding to this longstanding exclusion, feminist philosophers contest hegemonic norms with perspectives and methodologies that fundamentally alter the discipline.

As a reflection of widened recognition, translation provides a measure to assess the changing status of feminist philosophers. Translation opens three pathways: an escape from an environment that would quash the voice of the feminist philosopher; a means of forging alliances with receptive audiences beyond an initial context; and a method of canonisation via the promotion that is translation. Recent research into the key terms of feminist thought as travelling concepts interrogates coalitions between feminist philosophers and translation, even as scholars acknowledge tensions between philosophy and the activist commitments of feminist theory. Eschewing a comprehensive overview or statistical research into translations of feminist philosophers, this entry presents an inclusive, illustrative selection of feminist philosophers as they articulate, via translation, their own conceptions of philosophy.