Latin American Testimonio: Unique Course Engaging Youth Literacy Through Narrative

May 23, 2016

Latin American Testimonio: Unique Course Engaging Youth Literacy Through Narrative

Image: Painting, "Whose Stories Matter," created by George Evans, former student as part of a final assessment to illuminate his growing understandings of literacy as empowerment and social navigation. Reprinted with permission.

In Fall 2016 students will have the opportunity to study how to connect literacy and social justice by drawing upon Latin American testimonios of struggle and survival. The opportunity comes through the aptly named course, "Engaging Literacy through Latin American Testimonios of Struggle and Survival, which is cross-listed as EDUC 593/LLSS 593/LTAM 500/CCS 493.

Taught by Dr. Mia Sosa-Provencio, this course presupposes the interconnectedness between literacy and social justice. It is designed as a curriculum lab that brings together undergraduate and graduate students, alongside Rio Grande high school youth, for the collective design of culturally rooted curriculum. In the process, the course participants will learn how to cultivate youth's multiple literacies through Testimonio, the Latin American narrative form born of resistance/resilience to structural oppression.

As Sosa-Provencio explains, "Testimonios unfold across Latin American and U.S. Chicana/o Latina/o literature, music, poetry, speeches, and visual and performative art created by those who have stood against governmental silencing and domination across race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, language/dialect, spirituality, and residency status."

All course readings will be available online for download; no additional textbooks are required. The course will take place at Rio Grande High School on Tuesdays at 3pm. For more information, please contact Dr. Sosa-Provencio at

A previous offering of this course and related content were highlighted in an Albuquerque Journal article on October 5, 2015, titled "How to make learning authentic."