Briseyda Barrientos Ariza

Briseyda Barrientos Ariza

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2023 MPhil European, Latin American, & Comparative Literatures & Cultures
  • Trinity College

I am from Hyattsville, Maryland and most of my childhood summers were spent in the humid climates of Guatemala––saturated in the culture of storytelling. During my studies at Towson University, I returned to the stories of my girlhood. As a recipient of the Leadership for Public Good Fellowship, I collected the oral histories of Guatemalans on their encounters with regional folkloric figures, amplifying occluded voices via cultural/archival work. I built upon my fieldwork in my thesis, where I examined the function of orature and its products as counterstories and symptoms of colonial trauma. During my MPhil at Cambridge, I will broaden my work to the larger Central American diaspora to exhibit how orature and its practice operate as a collective narratological and rhetorical (method)ology that opposition colonial narratives, allowing for new ones to emerge. By re-reckoning the violence represented in the literary and lived, I seek to reassess how narratives are constructed and taught globally through the language and experiences of the oppressed to highlight the anticolonial possibilities extant in intergenerational stories. I am honored to join the Gates Cambridge community, where we all look forward to building a better world.

Previous Education

Towson University English with Literature Track 2022
Towson University Psychology 2022