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[Xmca-l] Re: Sociocritical Literacies and more context

Manuel! My apologies for referring to you as Miguel. Got twisted in the
thread. Hope the comments/question on testimonio made more sense.


On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 4:53 PM, Espinoza, Manuel <
Manuel.Espinoza@ucdenver.edu> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> Hope this note finds you all well.  Just adding to the conversation on
> literacies, social dreaming, the Migrant Program at UCLA (I was one of many
> that served the students during the early 2000s) and testimonio.
> The idea of testimonio as an aspect of the "concrete" is cool.  To my
> mind, within that realm of really rich Soviet/Russian thinking, testimonio
> can be thought of as one way that human beings  remake social life guided
> by intellect and heart.  (Think of what testimonio accomplished in the
> context of 1980s Central America or mid-1990s South Africa.)  But the idea
> of testimonio as an aspect of the "abstract" seems right on as well.
> Testimonio is also meaningful and comprehensive thought that explains
> reality better than what we had before.  Testimonio in the Migrant Program
> seemed to be both.  Thus, as the beloved Rusos teach us, you can ascend to
> both abstract and concrete.
> I think about the time and effort that went into creating the
> autobiographies (a form of testimonio) that Profe Gutiérrez references.
> They were a culmination for us as a scholarly community.  And they left
> people altered.  (Another cool insight inspired by Hegel and Marx - when
> humans learn, they become altered matter.  Living, breathing matter,
> capable of experiencing.  And in the words of Piaget, I believe,
> experiencing our experiences.)  The versatility, the many facets of
> testimonio are beautiful to ruminate on.  Given my life experience, I
> rejoice in thinking about the ways that testimonio - bearing witness to
> life via narrative - can give historical depth to a person's actions, to a
> community's actions.
> To illustrate, I remember putting together the reader for the program.  We
> would stay all night in Moore Hall with making copies and feeling energized
> in thinking about migrant families sending their high school-aged children
> to reside and study with us for a month.  The way I pictured those families
> - and this is key for people like Marx Wartofsky who cared deeply about the
> actual look of our imaginations - was through a long corridor of
> experience.  It was just me at 2am extending the look down the hallway, but
> instead of a wall at the far end, I pictured families I knew, and imagined
> the ones I didn't know.  I could see them and they could see me.  Our work
> was similar in that instant: preparing the way for the youth.  At times, it
> was incredibly vivid, but that grew over time and through the many
> testimonios we fostered and experienced.  Even the testimonio requires
> witness for it to live on.  (See: Carolyn Forché  and her "poetry of
> witness.")  And that, too, had to be learned to an extent.  Who showed me?
> Hector Álvarez, Carlos Tejeda, Profe Gutiérrez, Miguel Zavala, Shirin
> Vossoughi, the migrant parents, and others.  Now, that was a scholarly
> community.
> Forgive the somewhat long message.  I been looking to post for years, but
> in the words of the Ents from Middle Earth, I wanted to say something that
> took time to say.  See you again in 2018 :)
> Respetuosamente,
> Manuel Luis Espinoza
> Manuel

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science as an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.