The activist storytelling practice of testimonio, long associated with Latin American struggles for justice, forges coalitions across social differences for the purpose of social change. Beyond Central and South America, Patricia DeRocher examines testimonios from a wide range of geopolitical sites, including Argentina, Egypt, Haiti, India, Jamaica, and Trinidad, as well as the United States, and suggests that feminist testimonios offer a model for cross-border feminist alliance building. Transnational Testimonios focuses on the questions of translation, knowledge, and power that characterize the creation and reception of these life writings. DeRocher demonstrates how these stories can mobilize social activism and intervene in epistemological impasses between the Global North and South, offering vital tools for reimagining transnational feminist politics.
DeRocher argues that the ‘story-based methodology’ employed by testimonios and the use of pathos creates a communicative bridge between text and reader that effectively mitigates apathetic or defensive responses by readers while negotiating the power differentials between differently socially placed readers. This approach breathes new life into comparativist and feminist global frameworks.
Ariana Vigil, author of War Echoes: Gender and Militarization in U.S. Latina/o Cultural Production
DeRocher has sought out and woven together material of broad scope—both primary texts and critical sources—to construct her cogent and thought-provoking arguments. Transnational Testimonios is a strong contribution to a growing body of work that recognizes the global nature of testimonios.
Kimberly Nance, author of Can Literature Promote Justice?
A ground-breaking book on grass-roots women activism in Latin America and the Global South. DeRocher masterfully addresses important philosophical issues of translation, knowledge, power, and political action, and positions herself at the forefront of a new generation of scholars who are producing cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research in transnational feminist theory, global critical theory, political epistemology, and theories of activism and social movements.
José Medina, Walter Dill Scott Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University