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Press Releases

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

'Testimonio' Discussion Continues 'Mind Shrapnel' Series November 13

SALISBURY, MD---The New York Times has had something to say about truth in memoirs. Oprah Winfrey has had something to say about it, and now Dr. Louise Detwiler, faculty in SU’s Modern Languages Department has something to say about it.

Whether it’s A Million Little Pieces or My Name is Rigoberta Menchú, emotions run high when a supposedly truthful life story is unmasked later as containing elements of fiction. Detwiler speaks on how this phenomenon has impacted Latin American literature during “Testimonio: Latin American Literature’s Difficult Stepchild,” the next lecture in the Bellavance Honors Program’s “Mind Shrapnel ’n’ Cookies” Lecture Series 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 13.

“What does it mean to tell and to record one’s life story?  Is it an act of memory, of invention, or something in between?” said Detwiler. “Does the process differ depending upon who I am and where I live?  These questions and many others have been debated for decades by literary scholars of Latin American testimonio, or testimony.  In this presentation, I will describe four discursive models, ranging from the formal and aesthetic to the functional and literary, for testimonio studies.  Whether testimonio can be traced back to the crónicas of the 16th century or to Cuba in the 1960s, this presentation hopes to shed some light on why this subgenre of Latin American literature has either adoring fans or angry detractors.”

A faculty-led discussion follows the talk. Sponsored by the Bellavance Honors Program, admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-677-5070 or visit the SU Web site at

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