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18 Pages

Digital Testimonio as a Signature Pedagogy for Latin@ Studies

I begin with an origins story. In 1993, I designed and taught an undergraduate class at Hunter College (CUNY), titled “Latina Life Stories” (LLS). It was inspired by the autobiographical writings of U.S. Latinas that, at long last, began populating bookstore shelves during the previous decade. I constructed the course around these readings and the vivid and poignant classroom discussions they invariably provoked. I asked students to write their own narratives and, as a class finale, to share portions of these in a collective reading. The class was a hit and continues to be a favorite, especially among Latina/o students because the course and the readings validate their lived experiences and place their own lives at the center, often for the very first time.