Villanueva, Victor “Memoria is a Friend of Ours: On the Discourse of Color”


In this essay, Villanueva interwines poetry, narrative, and memory to disrupt traditional academic conventions where memory  and emotion have no legitimate place.  Academic discourse, according to Villanueva, is too logocentric in its effort to “reach the Aristotelian ideal of being completely logocentric, though it cannot be freed of the ethical appeal to authority” (12).  Villanueva argues that we need to realize that “the personal” does not have to negate the academic desires to be rational and objective; instead the personal can complement the intellect by produting cognition and affect.  The personal, Villanueva says, is intellectual.  Villanueva also wants us to understand the role that narrative plays in the life of one of color to facilitate memory of possibility realized, processes discovered and openings found.  Memoria, which use to be one of the most important canons of rhetorics, has been relegated to the wayside—a prophecy Plato himself foresaw.  Villanueva wants to reinvigorate the role of memory in rhetoric through narrative.  As he writes, “The narrative of people of color jog our memories as a collective in a scattered world and within an ideology that praises individualism.”  For Latino/a(s), language “contains the interconnectedness among identity, memory, and the personal” as evident in the famous Puerto Rican and Cuban saying Te doy un cuento de mi historia—“’I’ll give you my story about my history’:  me, history and memory, and a story” (16).   Therefore, for people of color, as should be true for all of us, “personal discourse, the narrative, the auto/biography, helps in [the effort of intellectual formation], is a necessary adjunct to the academic” (17).   Therefore, we “must invited [Memoria] into our classrooms and into our scholarship” (19).

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1 Comment

Filed under cultural rhetorics exam, historiography exam

One response to “Villanueva, Victor “Memoria is a Friend of Ours: On the Discourse of Color”

  1. Reblogged this on On a Lighter Note and commented:
    This is an interesting excerpt about Victor Villanueva.

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