By Amaury Rodríguez and Nelson Santana
9 de febrero de 2018
First in a series of articles that focus on research of Dominican history and society.
It’s Friday and you want something real, exciting and worth pursuing. You are in love. You want to move on from the traditional historical narrative. Moya Pons doesn’t matter anymore because in all truth, he never did. So you came up with some ideas, an outline of Dominican topics to pursue while flipping the bird o la gallina to all those who ignore your existence and that of others and guess what?
You know who you are!
Here are ten research topics (some serious, some fun and others obscure) that we/you should pursue whether you’re Dominican or not. ¿Vale? Here we go:
Sancocho’s Blues: A Dominican Contribution to Maroon Cuisine
This thesis will trace the connection between African-derived dishes in the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean and Central America and the state of Louisiana. Certain Dominicanists believe Dominicans are the founders of America. Don’t forget the culinary contributions of Juan Rodrigues and Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.
Afro-Dominican Women in Times of Revolt
A study of Afro-Dominican women during the 1965 revolution and US second military occupation of Santo Domingo.
Plan Condor in The Caribbean
This monograph will examine state repression under Joaquín Balaguer’s Twelve Years regime during the decade of the 1970s as well as collaboration with the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. At least one chapter should be devoted to Balaguer’s presence in New York. He is the originator of the Nueva York chiquito before Leonel made it a thing. Leonel: intellectual thief, building on the hard work of Chapita’s God son/nephew.
Enriquillo Sánchez and the Construction of ensayo-poesía in El Siglo Newspaper
An exploration of the late poet’s work in the now defunct influential newspaper El Siglo.
Mamá Tingó, Resistencias Agrarias and Capitalism
This thesis will dissect the life and legacy of Florinda Muñoz Soriano (Mamá Tingó), the murdered peasant leader whose legacy perdures to this day. [Images from revista ¡Ahora!, No. 574, p.24-25, 1974]
When Breton was here: Surrealism in Hispaniola
This will explore the impact of surrealism in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic at a time of Cold War upheavals and dictatorships.
When WaHi Was Burning: Riots, Racism and Resistance in a New York Neighborhood
A history of the 1992 anti-police riots in Washington Heights before hipsters’ assault on the already established Dominican culture. [TV footage from NBC news].
Callejones, deseo y rebelión: Same-Sex Cruising During the Post-Dictatorship Era
An in-depth examination into cruising for sex and queer desire during the post-dictatorship years in the early 1960s.
Amargue, bellonera y bachata: Life in a Bar of Mala Muerte in a Dominican Urban Space
This is a look into social life in a working class Dominican barrio during the 1980s.
Haitian Trees, Dominican Water: The Origins of the Ecological Crisis in Hispaniola
This traces the history of environmental destruction by looking at colonialism and dependency capitalism in both sides of the island of Hispaniola.
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