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Enlazando/Rompiendo Fronteras in Curriculum Theory: Special Issue on Testimonio Research’s Aesthetic Dimensions

The Journal of Curriculum & Pedagogy calls for scholarly and creative papers for a special issue focused on advancing testimonio’s aesthetic dimensions with special emphasis on fictionalized and poetic testimonio research.  Recognizing the contributions of US-based Testimonio research, our special issue specifically works through the view to the Global South or la Mirada al Sur to articulate testimonio’s aesthetic dimensions for deployment in teaching and learning, teacher education, and public education.

Broadly, existing US-based testimonio research has articulated racialized and emancipatory directions in human science in education.  Drawing predominantly on Anzaldúa (1987), Delgado Bernal (1998), the Latina Feminist Group (2001), and genre defining Latin American texts (e.g., R. Menchú, D. Barrios de Chungara, and G. Belli) in theorizing testimonio research as counter-western and endarkened human science research epistemology and methodology.  Heretofore unrecognized in curriculum studies publication forums, we believe that testimonio research in education offers differently historicized decolonial directions to the area of curriculum studies.

This special issue drives at another view of testimonio research in education through la mirada al Sur.  Building on and complementing US-based Testimonio’s human science directions, this special issue seeks to introduce Testimonio research into a major curriculum studies publication forum and advancing the aesthetic dimensions of Testimonio research in education.  Drawing on decolonial Latin American historical traditions and aesthetics (e.g., I. Allende, D. Eltit, G. Garcia Márquez, E. Poniatowska), we look to expand the archive of Testimonio representations and emphasize fictionalized and poetic representations of the Global South as we strive toward a transcultural dialogue and conscientization. Moreover, our emphasis on Testimonio’s aesthetic dimensions rekindles the Latina Feminist Group’s (2001) notions of “papelitos guardados” (p. 1) in combining the personal, social, and aesthetic.  As editors with connections to US/Mexico Borderlands, Mexico, and Latin America, the special issue recognizes, provides a forum for, and expands testimonio’s fictionalized and poetic representations, as well as pursues and encourages other forms of aesthetic practices or aesthesis (Mignolo & Vazquez, 2013).

Specifically, fictionalized, poetic, and aesthesis testimonios advance a differently organized Global South archive of testimonio resources as one key dimension of decolonial curriculum. Representative of the archive, fictionalized and poetic testimonios recognize aesthetics as key in understanding psychoanalytic, emotional, and social-historical trauma in identification and conscientization processes (e.g. Nuestra arma es nuestra palabra/Our word is our weapon, and El laberinto de la Soledad/The laberynth of solitude). Regarding fictionalized testimonio, Eltit’s (2010) work is emblematic of aesthetics in testimonio traditions. For poetic testimonio, Espinosa-Dulanto’s (2018a, 2018b) work is emblematic of aesthetics in testimonio traditions.  Espinosa-Dulanto deploys poetry in rendering qualitative empirical data into conscientizacing aesthetic representations that depict inner-outer violence of immigrant research respondents’ transnational experiences of crisis, journey, and non-legal status within supremacist contexts.

Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy

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Submission Information

For this special issue, we welcome papers that contribute to expand la mirada al Sur. We invite contributors to consider multiple ways of the use of testimonio in the curriculum field, as theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical tool. We invite submissions by scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists engaged in theorizing testimonio and the diverse ways to approach its aesthetics dimensions, the relation between testimonio and curriculum, and the role of testimonio in decolonial efforts. We seek submissions providing a snapshot of the variety of contemporary educational research use of testimonio aesthetic dimensions, showing the various creative ways of making use of testimonio research in education challenging colonial traditions, and exploring decolonial approaches to curriculum and pedagogy. We encourage manuscripts targeting,

  • Conceptual essays
  • La mirada al Sur
  • Decolonial Hispanophone curriculum
  • Testimonio’s aesthetic dimension
  • Fictionalized testimonios with brief methodology explanations
  • Poetic testimonios with brief methodology introductions
  • Digital art /works using testimonios with brief methodology section
  • Creative writing
  • Short essays

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. A guide for authors along with other relevant information can be found on journal’s homepage. Important deadlines are listed here:

  • Notification of intention to submit with 150 word abstract by email to guest editors by  October 20th, 2019.
  • Drafts of full manuscripts due to the journal submission system by December 31st, 2019.  Review process will start as soon as manuscripts are received.
  • Revision of manuscripts due to editors by April 30th, 2020.
  • Estimated publication date of the special issue is August/September 2020.

For abstract submission, further information, or queries regarding this Special Issue, please contact the Guest Editors: 

Freyca Calderon-Berumen, Penn State University, [email protected]   

Miryam Espinosa-Dulanto, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, [email protected]  

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Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands/La frontera. San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute

Delgado Bernal, D. (1998). Using a Chicana feminist epistemology in educational research. Harvard Educational Review, 68, 555-583.

Delgado Bernal, D., Burciaga, R., Flores Carmona, J. (Eds.) (2015a). Chicana/Latina testimonios as pedagogical, methodological, and activist approaches to social justice.  New York, NY: Routledge.

Espinosa-Dulanto, M. (2018a). Abrazando Nopales—Prickly Embrace: Undocumented Women’s Life Stories/Poetic Performance NarrativesCultural Studies↔ Critical Methodologies, 18(3), 177-180.

Espinosa-Dulanto, M. (2018b). Un dia cualquiera. Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, 17(2), 160-164.

Latina Feminist Group (2001). Telling to live: Latina feminist testimonios. Duke University Press.