Department or Program



In 1492, Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Americas setting into motion a series of human displacements that have had several consequences, including the fragmentation of Dominican history and identity. Centuries later, this displacement continues. The development of a Dominican diaspora involved economically, politically and culturally in the Dominican nation has created a multitude of hybrid sites that challenge the hegemonic norms that forced Dominicans to emigrate. This thesis analyzes the historiography and literature in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao written by Junot Diaz in order to challenge the hegemonic definition of Dominicanness and to present a more complex Dominican history, which includes subaltern voices and considers the European presence, the African presence and the Indigenous presence in the Caribbean. The circumstances that led to the creation of the Dominican nation, especially its independence from Haiti, a black republic, has led the Dominican oligarchy to develop practices and discourses that emphasize their Catholic and Hispanic roots while marginalizing their African roots. On the other hand, the female voice has also been silenced. The female body has been reduced to an object that men need to "conquer" in order to prove their masculinity. I propose that Díaz's novel is a historiographical project that seeks to challenge our knowledge and expose the contradictions inherent in Dominicanness. To reach a more inclusive definition of Dominicanness, the Dominican community has to relearn Dominican history and understand the burden that history holds on their daily life.

Level of Access

Open Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.