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Communicating “Truth”: Testimonio, Vernacular Voices, and The Rigoberta Menchu Controversy

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In this essay, the authors explore some of the communicative dimensions of the Rigoberta Menchu controversy, engaging both the textual and contextual elements of this controversy. They first provide a brief review of the Menchu case and an analysis of the criticism by her principal detractor, David Stoll. The authors then analyze the unique role that testimonio plays in Latin American discursive constructions, as well as how other discursive communities responded to the Menchu-Stoll controversy. Finally, the authors comment on the discursive importance of the Menchu-Stoll controversy, and make a case for the heuristic value of testimonio in future investigations of Latin American work in communication studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Communication, Boston College, 2: Department of Communication, University of Utah,

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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