In Dominican history, the culture of a dominant Eurocentric minority has been perceived as the norm in the formulation of a national identity. This minority culture imposed its limited vision onto the majority, excluding from its purview all that was deemed to diverge from its proposed vision of Dominicanness. Afro-Caribbean traditions are notably excluded from this version of national history despite their obvious centrality to people’s everyday lives. During the first part of the twentieth century, the dictator Rafael Trujillo helped to perpetuate this vision of Dominican national identity, emphasizing the Spanish heritage, invoking a distant Taino past but excluding the Afro-Caribbean heritage. As a result, the majority of Dominicans remain mentally colonized by this discourse, which pervades all aspects of civil society. On the academic level, this makes the Dominican context an ideal laboratory for postcolonial theory and cultural studies. In Divergent Dictions, Néstor E. Rodríguez argues that contemporary Dominican and Diasporic literature and intellectual production offer alternative sites for the articulation of cultural identity. They articulate sites where new relations are being formed from the perspective of a fully assumed cultural diversity. Literary and intellectual production of the 1980s and 1990s thus contribute to the articulation of a new understanding of Dominican cultural identity. This book will appeal to scholars and students in the fields of Postcolonial Studies, History, Caribbean Studies and Latino and Latin American literature.
Néstor E. Rodríguez is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Toronto, Canada.
178pp., softcover, 6 x 9 inches.
Cat. #: CSP6540
ISBN #: 9781584326540
Divergent Dictions Book Review