New Book: “Masculinity after Trujillo—The Politics of Gender in Dominican Literature”

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Masculinity after Trujillo: The Politics of Gender in Dominican Literature (2014) by Maja Horn (Barnard College) explores masculinities in Dominican post-dictatorship literature, as the title makes clear. Emilio Bejel, author of Gay Cuban Nation, writes: “The ideas about masculinization of power developed by Horn are important not only to Dominican scholarship but also to Caribbean and other Latin American students of the intersection of history, political power, and gendered practices and discourses.”

Publisher’s Description: Any observer of Dominican political and literary discourse will quickly notice the prevalence of certain notions of hyper-masculinity. In this extraordinary work, Maja Horn argues that these gender conceptions became ingrained during the dictatorship (1930-1961) of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, as well as through the U.S. military occupation that preceded it.

Where previous studies have focused mainly on Spanish colonialism and the sharing of the island with Haiti, Horn emphasizes the under-examined and lasting influence of U.S. imperialism and how it prepared the terrain for Trujillo’s hyperbolic language of masculinity. She also demonstrates how later attempts to emasculate the image of Trujillo often reproduced the same masculinist ideology popularized by his government.

Through the lens of gender politics, Horn enables readers to reconsider the ongoing legacy of the Trujillato, including the relatively weak social movements formed around racial and ethnic identities, sexuality, and even labor. She offers exciting new interpretations of such writers as Hilma Contreras, Rita Indiana Hernández, and Junot Díaz, revealing the ways they challenge dominant political and canonical literary discourses.

For more information, see http://upf.com/book.asp?id=HORNX001

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