Teaching and Writing Transnational Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Kaiama L. Glover and Maja Horn

Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Even though popular and widely circulated images show Caribbean cultures as productively and inspiringly creolized, a fully transnational Caribbean reality has proven far more difficult to enact than to envision. Historically and contemporarily, the diverse Caribbean geographies are in many ways impermeable to one another. Almost nowhere are issues of nation-language borders and their resultant challenges to mutual legibility more striking than in the case of Haiti and the Dominican Republic–two nations that share the same 30,000 square mile island and over five centuries of interconnected history, yet that have remained deeply divided. This talk considers the dialectic of commonality and conflict that marks the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to address, more broadly, what it means to be a scholar and teacher of the Caribbean in the face of the region’s fundamental multilingualism.

Kaiama L. Glover is an Associate Professor in the French Department and the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College, Columbia University. She has published articles in The French Review, Small Axe, Research in African Literatures, The Journal of Postcolonial Writings, and The Journal of Haitian Studies, among others. Her book, Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon, was published by Liverpool UP in 2010. Kaiama’s current projects include Disorderly Women, a study of the ethics of narcissism and configurations of the feminine in 20th and 21st century Caribbean fiction, and Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine, an edited volume of critical essays for Yale French Studies.

Maja Horn is an Assistant Professor of Spanish & Latin American Cultures at Barnard. She is currently completing a major research project exploring how Dominican artists and writers interrogate Dominican gender and sexual norms outside the language of Western identity politics.

This event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible.