Spirals in the Caribbean: Representing Violence in Haiti and the Dominican Republic


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships


Modern Languages


This project examines representations of violence in literature, political discourse, and cultural productions from Haiti and the Dominican Republic across three centuries. Focusing on material pertaining to various registers and disciplines, it draws on perspectives, aesthetics, and epistemologies from both sides of the island. In doing so, it responds to calls for deploying indigenous tools to interpret Afro-diasporic experiences, offering a homegrown, decolonial, island-centric framework through which to interpret reality across the entire island. As it examines various tropes, figures, and episodes tied to violence, it expands discussions on the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic beyond simplistic binaries, unraveling the complexity born of superimposed French, Spanish, British, and U.S- geopolitical interests, and emphasizing not optimism, as recent scholarship has done, but precisely the contentious as a productive, realistic site for change.