The Borders of Dominicanidad


Monday, April 2, 2018, 4:30pm


2 Arrow Street, Room 408

Please join us for a celebratory talk and book panel with Lorgia García-Peña, Roy G. Clouse Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of History and Literature at Harvard University. Professor García-Peña will read from and discuss her most recent book, The Borders of Dominicanidad. Responses by Professor Mayra Rivera and Professor Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel will open the discussion.

In her book, she explores the ways official narratives and histories have been projected onto racialized Dominican bodies as a means of sustaining the nation's borders. In her book, she constructs a genealogy of dominicanidad that highlights how Afro-Dominicans, ethnic Haitians, and Dominicans living abroad have contested these dominant narratives and their violent, silencing, and exclusionary effects. Centering the role of U.S. imperialism in drawing racial borders between Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States, she analyzes musical, visual, artistic, and literary representations of foundational moments in the history of the Dominican Republic: the murder of three girls and their father in 1822; the criminalization of Afro-religious practice during the U.S. occupation between 1916 and 1924; the massacre of more than 20,000 people on the Dominican-Haitian border in 1937; and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. García-Peña also considers the contemporary emergence of a broader Dominican consciousness among artists and intellectuals that offers alternative perspectives to questions of identity as well as the means to make audible the voices of long-silenced Dominicans.

This event is cosponsored by the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University.