Testimonios and Turntables: Claiming Our Narratives through Sound and Space

September 2, 2021

CLS Dual Major students Stephany Bravo and Vanessa Aguilar have published "Testimonios and Turntables:
Claiming Our Narratives through Sound and Space" in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy.

Both of their abstracts are below:

 "Summoning Duende: Afro-Diasporic Religious Listening Practices in Funkadelic and Childish Gambino's Music" by Vanessa J. Aguilar 

Aguilar's "Summoning Duende" explores how funk music performers Childish Gambino and Funkadelic conjure a supernatural force called duende in their songs "Good to Your Earhole" (1975) and "Riot" (2016). This piece explores how duende disrupts traditional listening practices by drawing attention to how spiritual possession is heard sonically through vocal utterances and musical elements produced by Childish Gambino and Funkadelic. Aguilar situates the origins of duende into Afro-religious practices of spiritual ecstasy which have been reduced to the "sounding Other" by mainstream audiences who are unable to conjure duende. 

"TEST-TEST-TESTIMONIALISTA: Stories of Sound, Space, Place, and the Body in Compton" by Stephany Bravo 

Bravo summons the landscapes of Compton, California, by documenting personal childhood memories through el testimonio, a form of storytelling learned over her mom's cafecito sessions. The stories weave histories of migration within a predominantly Black and Latino community by tackling topics such as the Los Angeles Rebellions of 1992 and continuous forms policing. Stephany's stories are guided by exterior forces such as sounds but also the continuously evolving vessel that is her body. 

The full articles are available at https://kairos.technorhetoric.net/26.1/topoi/aguilar-et-al/index.html

Vanessa Aguilar is a doctoral degree student in CLS. She received a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in rhetoric from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In 2018, she received a master’s degree in English from Emporia State University. Her research area of focus is Chicanx/Latinx literature. Other areas of interest include subversion of the Catholic structure and patriarchy in colonial Latin America, women’s rhetoric, curanderismo/brujería/mysticism, and representations of women in literature.

Stephany Bravo is a doctoral student in the Department of English and the Chicano/Latino Studies.  She received her bachelor's degree in Chicana/o Studies and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2018, she earned a master’s degree in Mexican American Studies at the California State University of Los Angeles, completing a thesis titled: “The Hub Dis-placed: An Archival Re-collection of Compton’s Narratives.” Her current research historicizes and engages Latinx/a/o and Black populations in Compton through cultural production as expressed within altered spaces, murals, archives, and poetry.