Studies in Testimony is intended to be a site of critical examination and enquiry into testimony in all its facets. Given this intentionally broad scope of academic interest, an inter and multidisciplinary approach is not only encouraged but is necessary for the continued success of the journal. The philosophy of the journal is to encourage and facilitate a productive and dynamic relationship between the various approaches to testimony in fields as diverse, but certainly not limited to, literary theory, history and psychoanalysis. This approach is intended to ensure the fostering of new areas of enquiry and to revisit topics of continued and lasting relevance.
This first issue is truly international in scope, both in terms of the contributors themselves but also in the subject matter covered illustrating the expansive nature of research undertaken in this area of study. Hannah Grayson’s article, ‘Articulating Growth in Rwandan Terms: Adapting the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory’, stems from the AHRC funded project ‘Rwanda: Stories of Change’, and explores ‘how psychological frameworks might be mediated for understanding contemporary Rwandan stories’ following the genocide of 1994. In the first of four articles that focus upon the Americas, Anna Forné examines the ‘metadiscourses surrounding the installation of the prize category “testimony”’ for the Casa de las Américas in the period 1970 – 1975. The article ‘The Politics of Poetics: Latin American Testimonial Literature and the Casa de las Américas Literary Prize (1970-1975)’ does so in order to explore the relationship between poetics and politics in this particular case. Anthony Nuckols’ article, ‘Kaddish for Those We Never Knew: Mourning and Bearing Witness to Losses that Are Not Our Own through Fiction’, envisions ‘a process of mourning that transcends […] temporal distance through the sustaining of loss, the incorporation of absence within the narrative form and on the level of the diegesis, where the irrecoverability of the past becomes evident through the necessary recourse to invention, supposition and fiction itself’. Tim Craker focuses upon ‘Testimony and Place in the Work of Victor Montejo’ with the central question: ‘To the extent that Montejo’s work is a response to loss, what can it tell us about testimony as a response to the loss of place and the place of loss?’ In ‘The Testimony of a Poet: Transcription, Witness, and Poetic Documentation in Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony‘ Trevor Laurence Jockims illustrates the ways Reznikoff’s Testimony does not simply absorb its sources into the poetic but ‘by poeticizing them, illuminates the texts in their own right as well as in terms of the potentialities of the poetic act itself.’ The final article in this issue, ‘Poetic of the contingent detail in witness narratives about the reign of Terror during the French Revolution’ by Carole Dornier, examines how three accounts of the Terror (July 1793 – July 1794) following the French Revolution attempt to ‘restitute the strangeness’ of the events they describe by subverting ‘requirements for a traditional plot – a narrative logic and a chain of plausible events- erasing the marks of causality’.
The journal would not be possible without the editorial board and the generous help of the reviewers, all of whom are greatly thanked and gave their time freely.
The full version of this issue is available to download from the link below: