Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Humanities

Committee Director

Delores Phillips

Committee Member

Alison Reed

Committee Member

Angelíca Huizar

Abstract

This master’s thesis examines ideologies of whiteness through the erasure and denial of blackness in the Dominican Republic and explores the manner in which racial identity has been reinforced and contested. A dialectical approach is utilized to analyze the discourse around the history of the Dominican Republic and a textual analysis is also employed to assist in supporting the findings. The rationale for this study is to access how whiteness became synonymous with Dominicanness and to resuscitate the blackness of Dominican identity which has been relegated to the classification of the “other”. Therefore, drawing conclusions as to how Dominicans

negotiate their own identity. Considerable attention will be paid to the role that the United States has played in the shaping of Dominican identity during their interactions with the country as well as the role of the country’s European conquerors. To these assumptions, this inquiry addresses the following questions: How has whiteness become synonymous with Dominican identity? How has ideas of blackness been negotiated or situated within Dominican identity? How have ideas of race been transformed into the norm and maintained throughout the country’s history? I will demonstrate that the prevailing ideas of race which constitute Dominicanidad (Dominican whiteness) have been socially constructed and challenge its construction using one of the same instruments in which was used for its institutionalization, Science.

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