Shared History, Shared Future: Converging Paths in the Haitian and Dominican Transborder Experience

Event Date(s): 03/06/2010 - 06/06/2010

Location: Instituto Filosofico Pedro Francsico Bono, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

As events of the past few weeks have amply shown, transborder and binational relations between Haitian and Dominican communities have permeated throughout history; peoples, ideas, historical processes, and environmental events have long traversed the imagined distance between the two nations. The legacy of the social, cultural, and political realities shared by both groups has created promising spaces of dialogue - in the island as well as in the diaspora, through unifying migration experiences in the United States. Political and economic elites in both countries have, for the most part, ignored and/or tried to suppress these expressions of commonality, in favor of a more divisive political and socio-economic discourse. However, social movements dedicated to immigrants' human rights in the U.S., Haiti, and the D.R., non-governmental organizations, and cultural figures such as Junot Díaz and Edwidge Danticat have engaged in a critical debate on the way in which Dominican and Haitian relations are often deconstructed. 

This conference will bring together scholars, artists, activists, and community organizers who are interested in thinking about Dominican-Haitian realities in ways that go beyond simplistic and merely political renderings of the histories of these two countries.

Invited guest speakers and workshop leaders include: Light Carruyo (Vassar College), Junot Díaz (MIT), Ramona Hernández (Dominican Studies Institute), Phil Kasinitz (CUNY), Frank Moya Pons (Historian), Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University), and Rubén, Silié, (Dominican ambassador to Haiti), among other major scholars, artists, and activists from the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Of particular interest are individual papers; panels; media, art, poetry projects; and workshop proposals, on the following topics: 

  • Dominican and Haitian (trans)nationality/bi-nationality
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Family in the migration process
  • The Cultural Politics of the Dominican/Haitian Borderlands
  • Border Identities: Haiti/DR; Mexico/U.S; St. Martin/St. Marteen
  • Globalization in the Caribbean
  • New Identities: Afro Dominicanidad; Haitian-Dominican
  • Segunda Generaciones: Dominican-Americans; Haitian-Dominican; Haitian-American
  • Community activism around immigrants' rights
  • Immigrants' rights as human rights; Interculturalidad
  • Art Exhibits, Poetry, Poetry Slam, Essays for Sharing
  • Dominican Responses to the Haitian Earthquake
  • Dominican/Haitian Feminism and Transnational Organizing

Individual abstracts should not exceed 250 words, for 20 minute presentations. 

Panels would include three or four panelists, for 15 minute presentations each, plus additional time for Q&A. Members of a panel need to submit (and be accepted) their abstract individually, indicating the panel theme and panel chair.  

The conference is being sponsored by and will take place at the Instituto Filosófico Pedro Francisco Bonó, a Jesuit college, located at Centro Bonó, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Centro Bonó is a research, academic, and social justice-oriented entity that houses the Centro Juan Montalvo and the Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados e Inmigrantes.   

Please send your academic or artistic abstract, panel, or workshop submission by March 1st, 2010 to: transnationalhispaniola@gmail.com.

For further questions, please email April Mayes at april.mayes@pomona.edu or Yolanda Martín at ymartin@gc.cuny.edu.  


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