Yomaira Figueroa deposited Faithful Witnessing as Practice: Decolonial Readings of Shadows of Your Black Memory and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in the group CLCS Global Hispanophone on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
This article considers Marıa Lugones’s concept of faithful witnessing as a point of departure to think about the ethics and possibilities of faithful witnessing in literary contexts. For Lugones, faithful witnessing is an act of aligning oneself with oppressed peoples against the grain of power and recognizing their humanity, oppression, and resistance despite the lack of institutional endorsement. I engage the work of Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Denise Oliver, and other scholars who offer methodologies and discourses on recognition, witnessing, and resis- tance. I argue that the feminist philosophical concept of faithful witnessing is a critical ele- ment of reading decolonial imaginaries. The article undertakes close readings of two novels in the Afro-Latinx and Afro-Hispanic tradition: Donato Ndongo’s Shadows of Your Black Memory and Junot Dıaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In these readings, the concept of faithful witnessing enriches the analysis of religious colonization and the gender violence inherent to coloniality.