Teaching and Testimony

Rigoberta Menchu and the North American Classroom

Edited by Allen Carey-Webb & Stephen Benz

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, INTERRUPTIONS: Border Testimony(ies) and Critical Discourse/s
Paperback : 9780791430149, 391 pages, July 1996
Hardcover : 9780791430132, 391 pages, July 1996

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Table of contents


1. Transformative Voices
Allen Carey-Webb

2. Culture Shock and I, Rigoberta Menchú
Stephen Benz


3. From Peasant to National Symbol
Arturo Arias

4. Why Dinesh D'Souza Has It in for Rigoberta Menchú
Gene H. Bell-Villada


5. Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú: Autoethnography and the Recoding of Citizenship
Mary Louise Pratt

6. Creating a Context for Rigoberta Menchú
Gene H. Bell-Villada

7. The Testimonial of Rigoberta Menchú in a Native Tradition
Luis O. Arata

8. Official Violence and Folk Violence: Approaching I, Rigoberta Menchú from the Perspectives of Folklife and Peace Studies
William Westerman

9. Literature from the Land Between: A High School Unit on Central American Literature
Judith E. Petersen

10. The Testimony of Rigoberta Menchú in the Foreign Language Curriculum
Sharon Ahern Fechter


11. Writing Their Way to Compassionate Citizenship: Rigoberta Menchú and Activating High School Learners
June Kuzmeskus

12. The Freshman Experience at Willamette University: Teaching and Learning with Rigoberta Menchú
Catherine Ann Collins and Patricia Varas

13. Having to Read a Book about Oppression: Encountering Rigoberta Menchú's Testimony in Boulder, Colorado
Robin Jones

14. Worlding Students
Steve Mathews

15. Passion and Politics: Teaching Rigoberta Menchú's Text as a Feminist
Stacey Schlau


16. Rigoberta Menchú's Testimony: Empowering ESL Students to Write
David Blot

17. Testimony in a Adolescent Day Treatment Center: Rigoberta Menchú and At-Risk Youth
Angela Wilcox Moroukian


18. Testimonial Dictionary to the Reading of Me llamo rigoberta Menchú y asi me nacio la conciencia: In Search of Our Voice
Rino G. Avellaneda, Ksenija Bilbija, Laura G. Gutierrez, Myriam Osorio, Stacey D. Skar, Angela G. Wasia

19. Rigoberta's Earrings: The Limits of Teaching Testimonio
Tace Hedrick

20. Not Just Plain English: Teaching Critical Reading with I, Rigoberta Menchú
Clyde Moneyhun

21. "This is My Testimony": Rigoberta Menchú in a Class on Oral History
Meri-Jane Rochelson


22. Rigoberta Menchú's Testimony as Required First-Year Reading
Jonnie G. Guerra and Sharon Ahern Fechter

23. A Window of Opportunity: An Ethics of Reading Third World Autobiography
Janet Varner Gunn

24. Supplementing the Standard Curriculum: Twain's Connecticut Yankee and Menchú's Indian Woman of Guatemala
Geraldine T. Rodriguez


25. Bridging the Gap: Modes of Testimony and Teaching Central American Politics
Daniel Goldrich

26. Rigoberta Menchú and Latin American Cultural History: A Professor's Journal
Teresa Longo

27. Training Teachers with Rigoberta Menchú: A Computer Conference
Allen Carey-Webb

28. Rigoberta Menchú's Secret: Culture and Education
John Willinsky

Appendix 1 Teaching Materials for I, Rigoberta Menchú

Appendix 2 Film/Video Resources

Appendix 3 Guatemalan Resources/Activism




Contains narratives of the experiences of teachers using the testimonial of Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. Includes background essays on Menchu and the role of her story in political correctness debates.


By utilizing the testimonial narrative of Rigoberta Menchú—a Mayan-Quiché of Guatemala and winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize—teachers in this volume engage students in vital and relevant cross-cultural learning in a variety of locations, disciplines, and levels. Teaching and Testimony tells teachers' stories of using Menchu's testimonial in their classrooms, and invites reflection on the transformative possibility of integrating previously marginalized voices. Energized by the teaching of Menchu's testimonial narrative, I, Rigoberta Menchú, these teachers let their guard down, wrestle with the immediate difficulties and possibilities of multicultural teaching, and speak with passion about the importance of what they and their students are learning.

Allen Carey-Webb is Assistant Professor of English Education at Western Michigan University Stephen Benz is Assistant Professor of English at Barry University. He is the author of Guatemalan Journey, an account of his two years as a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala.


"This is one of the more engaging books of its kind—that I have read. Not only will the readership glean fascinating and unique insights into an eclectic number of topics (value of testimony, authenticity of voice and testimony, complexity of culture, deprivation of human rights, U. S. role in the deprivation of human rights, feminism, student resistance to reading a testimony of this nature, etc. ), but also numerous and invaluable pedagogical strategies. A particular strength of the volume is that the authors share with the reader their frustrations, the barriers they faced, some of their failures, and lessons learned during their attempt to teach the work, and resounding successes. The struggle and breakthroughs are enlightening!" — Samuel Totten, University of Arkansas