Re-Mapping Hispaniola: Haiti in Dominican and Dominican American Literature
Myers, Megan Jeanette
This dissertation illustrates how an understanding of Haiti in Dominican literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries beyond the negative, stereotypical literary conception linked to Dominican negrophobia and anti-Haitianism is key to understanding why Dominicans today are re-envisioning their complex racial and ethnic identities, built on centuries of politically disseminated myths. The work endeavors to uncover the literary evidence of Dominican and Dominican American writers such as Ramón Marrero Aristy, Freddy Prestol Castillo, Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, Julia Alvarez, and Junot Díaz positively representing Haiti and its people across time and geographic restraints. The project also takes into account how other Caribbean and Latin American authors, namely Alejo Carpentier, Manuel Zapata Olivella, and Mario Vargas Llosa, have represented Haiti and Hispaniola. The use of border theory is key to approaching the literary works alternatively representing the Haitian subject and my recognition of the border as both cultural signifier and analytic tool reflects on the important work of Gloria Anzaldúa. The dissertation uses Anzaldúa’s border theory, centered on the ideological Border, to re-focus the Dominican Republic-Haiti argument by deciphering how literature re-writes Hispaniola’s history and resists the dominant, patriarchal discourse surrounding Dominican culture and identity.
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