Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


Carlos Riobó

Committee Members

Juan Carlos Mercado

Jerry Carlson

Franklin Gutiérrez

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Caribbean Languages and Societies | Ethnic Studies | Latin American Literature | Latina/o Studies | Spanish Literature


Dominican Republic, Caribbean, Nationalism, Globalization, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies


Una isla, dos literaturas.

Contrapunteo de la literatura de la isla y la diáspora dominicanas (1965-2018)


Jose Luis Peralta Genao

Advisor: Carlos Riobó

The literary works written by Dominican Diaspora as well as the ones written in the island have been dealing with a very complicated phenomena grown as the result of Dominican massive emigration of twenty century, namely the definition of dominicaness (dominicanidad). In the search of a broader notion of this concept the idea of being Dominican gets build and transforms in different Dominican literary spaces. By searching national discursive elements that construct that Dominican identities in different literary texts written inside the island and outside, I search the various transformations of that Dominican identity and how those identities unify the island and expands the traditional concept dominicaness. My study does not desire to find a specific definition of the state or quality of being Dominican instead looks to understand how this concept of dominicaness works as a construct that expands and shapes the idea of being Dominican. The Dominican nationalism brings two literatures together, the one made inside and outside the island to create enrich identities. We just have a broad homeland fed by the literature made in the island and elsewhere a Dominican resides. The critique behind an identity that gets accepted and the one that gets rejected and the creation of different Dominican identities fuels this investigation.

This dissertation is an analysis of literary narrative texts written in the Dominican Republic as well as in the United States. These literary narrative texts had in common that assume Dominican Republic as a sociocultural background where its characters develop their fictitious lives. The topic that I study is the meta- national discourse that I believe is use in the academic and literary works by the Dominican diaspora in the United States. Assuming the previous argument as a problematic, I propose to point out also the sociocultural manifestations that enters in the category of the national phenomenon that we call the state of being Dominican. My investigation focuses in how in the Dominican literary narrative space outside the island, the American cultural penetration in the Dominican society enables the configuration of particular forms of speaking and understanding of the state of being Dominican. What all these literary works have in common is that the character narrative experiences of conditions of survival shape their Dominican identity.

The dissertation has five sections, which will be distributed as follows: the first is an historical and theoretical introduction which shows the process of the idea formations of dominicaness. The second section studies how the indigenous taino identity is portrayed as a fundamental Dominican identity. The third one consists of the theme of the memory as a return and nostalgia, through these different forms of remembering, being inside and outside the Quisqueya insula that gives significance to the national Dominican, nostalgia can be or not be possible. Under the topic of ‘the seeking and the national place: the territory and the bodies’, the fourth section recounts the lives of characters that take the adventure in the search of something essential for their lives. Finally, the fifth section ‘national identity and transnational: the elastic Dominican identity’ is the literary staging of how characters have to deal and negotiate with their Dominican identities outside and inside of the national Dominican territory.