by John Beverley
University of Minnesota Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-8166-2841-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8166-2840-7
Library of Congress Classification PQ7082.P76B48 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 868.6080998


A revealing perspective on the controversial literature of witnessing

These four germinal essays by John Beverley sparked the widespread discussion and debate surrounding testimonio—the socially and politically charged Latin American narrative of witnessing—that culminated with David Stoll’s highly publicized attack on Rigoberta Menchú’s celebrated testimonial text. Challenging Hardt and Negri’s Empire, Beverley’s extensive new introduction examines the broader historical, political, and ethical issues that this literature raises, tracing the development of testimonio from its emergence in the Cold War era to the rise of a globalized economy and U.S. political hegemony.

Informed by postcolonial studies and the current debate over multiculturalism and identity politics, Testimonio reaches across disciplinary boundaries to show how this particular literature at once represents and enacts new forms of agency on the part of previously repressed social subjects, as well as its potential as a new form of “alliance politics” between those subjects and artists, scientists, teachers, and intellectuals in a variety of local, national, and international contexts.