Representational spaces in testimonial literature: Rigoberta Menchú and the indigenous other Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Cook, Jamey
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • This thesis focuses on the literary representation not only of Rigoberta Menchú, author and minority subject, but also of Mayan women as othered by the obstacles that race, gender, and class pose in Guatemalan society. I take into account the polemics surrounding testimonial discourse in her first book, but do not concentrate primarily on it, as it has been thoroughly expounded upon in previous studies. Instead, I explore Rigoberta Menchú's first two books, Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia, and Rigoberta, nieta de los Maya, which have hardly been studied in conjunction by others, through the lens of Mary Louise Pratt and other relevant cultural theorists such as Ortiz, Rama, García Canclini, and Foucault. Without discounting the impact of the first book, I demonstrate how Menchú's resistance to oppression and racism following her observations of and realizations about the effects of the structures of power on her and her people, have afforded her the opportunity to help her own community and Guatemala. To conclude, I touch briefly on obstacles to democratization in Guatemala in recent years. I also explore the necessary changes that Menchú, a Guatemalan Maya advocate and the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, believes have occurred in Guatemala, as well as which problems she believes still need to be addressed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Rivero, Alicia
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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