Ana Roncero Bellido - "Telling to Live, Telling to Survive"
Mary Louise Pratt underscores the political character of testimonios as she posits them as “a contemporary creation of the contact zone” where “autoethnography, critique, and resistance have reconnected with writing” (35). Indeed, in their collection of testimonios, Telling to Live, The Latina Feminist Group embraces this use of testimonio, particularly through the juxtaposition of English and Spanish and her refusal to adapt to Standard versions of these languages and traditional modes of autobiography. Thus, this presentation argues that code switching and code meshing entail an act of rhetorical resistance, hence underscoring the power of testimonio to challenge the patriarchal, imperialistic forces oppressing Latinas. To do so, this presentation posits the following questions: What motivates The Latina Feminist Group to code mesh? How does the use of Spanish affect the comprehensibility of the texts? How do these testimonios become representative of the “text(s) of the contact zone”? And consequently, how does the use of code meshing contribute to the construction of the Mestiza Consciousness (Anzaldúa) and the Decolonial Imaginary (Pérez)? Ultimately, this presentation concludes that this use of testimonio participates in the rhetorics of survivance as explained by Malea Powell: “survival” of the Latina feminist epistemology and experience, and “resistance” to imperialism
Ana Roncero is a 2nd year Ph.D. student focusing on Latina Literatures, Rhetorics and Cultures. She is particularly focused on feminist representations of identity through literature and the ways in which writing exerts a form of resistance against the oppression suffered by Latinas living in the United States. Past publications include articles such as "Who’s the Traitor? Disenfranchising Masculinity in Sandra Cisneros’ ‘One Holy Night’ and ‘Eyes of Zapata’” or “The House on Mango Street: Chicana Identity and the American Dream.”
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