full name / name of organization:
Louise Detwiler / Salisbury University
Testimonio 2.0: Endless Voice?
Within the past decade, many renowned scholars of Latin American testimonio, including Beverley, Sklodowska, and Nance, have either questioned its effectiveness in documenting and promoting social change or gone so far as to make a case for this genre’s demise. Their scholarship is often based on testimonio a la Miguel Barnet or Rigoberta Menchú—traditional paradigms that once defined the genre according to early critics Yúdice and Zimmerman—and therefore relies on certain classic boundaries and origins. While broader understandings of testimonio, such as the chronicles and the picaresque novel, have been wide ranging and based on long-standing issues of production and reception, most testimonio criticism assumes the central roles of the witness/testigo and a poetics of urgency to recount a contestatory narrative.
With Testimonio 2.0: Endless Voice?, the editors seek to compile a collection of essays which explores a trajectory of novel articulations for testimonio and/or a trajectory of distancing from the genre. These paths might mean a new generation of testimonio and testimonio scholarship, for example, or simply the era of post-testimonio. Instead of anchoring testimonio upon the traditional testigo, can we perhaps shift our critical gaze elsewhere within literature and other discourses of representation, such as cinema, in order to reconceptualize the act of witnessing? Further, can we situate testimonio within sociocultural fields such as the geography of urban landscapes as marked by memory through monuments, posters, and the graffiti of public spaces? Can we consider geography in general as a kind of witness to history by way of ecotestimonios? What of the oral interview which then relies upon transcription and the written word? Can we locate testimonio as well in other fields of meaning production such as the pictogram, the photograph, or in computer-generated animation and graphics? Do cyborgs have testimonios to share within alternative realities that belie common concepts of time and space? Is testimonio, in fact, grounded in a Western notion of time? Instead of the metaphor of time as an arrow wherein narrative has a discrete past, present, and future, may we perhaps embrace the more ancient notion of time as cyclical? Under this paradigm, the future can be remembered and witnessed as prophecy. Can prophecy be testimonio? Perhaps most importantly, what common discursive markers are shared by these two potential generations and/or between testimonio and post-testimonio?
To be considered for this collection, please send an abstract of 300-500 words with bibliography and abbreviated CV to both Louise Detwiler (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Janis Breckenridge (email@example.com) by December 1st, 2010. We encourage submissions from across cultures, but can only consider essays in English, with quotes translated into English. Potential contributors will be chosen on the basis of their abstracts, although acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee inclusion into the final volume. Completed essays (approximately 6000 words) should be submitted by March 1st, 2011.