New Book: “Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas”

dixa

Thanks to Amaury Rodríguez (ESENDOM), I found out about an interesting new book that was just published this spring—Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, from the 19th Century to the Present (New York University Press, 2018) by Dixa Ramírez (Brown University). Included in her exploration of cultural texts, including architectural production, film, and musical performance, she analyzes Dominican and Dominican diasporic literature, ranging from Salomé Ureña to Julia Alvarez, Chiqui Vicioso, and Junot Díaz, among others.

Description: Using a blend of historical and literary analysis, Colonial Phantoms reveals how Western discourses have ghosted—miscategorized or erased—the Dominican Republic since the nineteenth century despite its central place in the architecture of the Americas. Through a variety of Dominican cultural texts, from literature to public monuments to musical performance, it illuminates the Dominican quest for legibility and resistance.

Dixa Ramírez places the Dominican people and Dominican expressive culture and history at the forefront of an insightful investigation of colonial modernity across the Americas and the African diaspora. In the process, she untangles the forms of free black subjectivity that developed on the island. From the nineteenth century national Dominican poet Salomé Ureña to the diasporic writings of Julia Alvarez, Chiqui Vicioso, and Junot Díaz, Ramírez considers the roles that migration, knowledge production, and international divisions of labor have played in the changing cultural expression of Dominican identity. In doing so, Colonial Phantoms demonstrates how the centrality of gender, race, and class in the nationalisms and imperialisms of the West have profoundly impacted the lives of Dominicans. Ultimately, Ramírez considers how the Dominican people negotiate being left out of Western imaginaries and the new modes of resistance they have carefully crafted in response.

For more information, see https://nyupress.org/books/9781479867561/

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