Flesh-Memories: Bearing Witness to Trauma and Survival

  • Roberta Hurtado
Part of the Literatures of the Americas book series (LOA)


This chapter examines narrative persona and voice to explore how “enfleshment” is enhanced by awareness of cellular memory and the importance of how memory is recorded within the flesh. This chapter considers research in cognitive development studies and neuroscience to identify how experiences of trauma are recorded at the cellular level and the ways that cells and physiological reactions adapt for purposes of survival. This chapter focuses on ways that violence manifests within the home. It also considers how Latinas survive this violence and maintain their sentience. It examines how María Luisa Arroyo depicts the flesh as recording knowledge of this violence in juxtaposition to victim-blaming narratives and the distortions of reality that these narratives create. This chapter argues that honoring how flesh records violence holds a key understanding for why a nuanced understanding of Latina experience is vital for moving away from narratives of victim/survivor.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Hurtado
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of New York at OswegoOswegoUSA

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