Publication Date

April 2017

Advisor(s)

Gina Athena Ulysse

Major

Anthropology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis project considers the possibilities that open up when we reorient ourselves, space, and time in a nonlinear way. Thinking alongside Melissa Rosario’s concept of “revolutionary time,” and developing a sensibility to how we can begin to “revolutionize the quotidian,” can compel us to imagine more radical futurities and demand that we hold ourselves accountable to that every day. The incentive to “revolutionize the quotidian” grounds itself in a long lineage of radical black and brown creative musings by important figures like Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Cherríe Moraga, to name only a few, who ask that we continue on writing, fighting, and celebrating no matter what abject conditions we must navigate. At a time like this, when everyone seems to be articulating similar feelings of impending doom, the push to “revolutionize the quotidian” can prove to be vital. This thesis draws on six weeks of ethnographic research in Santiago de los Callebros, Dominican Republic, where I did fieldwork with the anarchist collective Cibao Libertario and experienced a sort of “revolutionary time” myself. A key part of the concept of “revolutionary time” is that it centers the fleeting and ephemeral moments that come to saturate our daily lives with radical potentiality. The members of Cibao Libertario that I got to meet and share time with while doing fieldwork in Santiago express an affinity towards anarchist politics and organizing that shapes their daily interactions and the ways in which they deliberately construct and deconstruct their identities in relation to the world around them. In the second part of my thesis, I will describe the work that New York-based performer and writer Josefina Báez, who was born in the Dominican Republic, does and how it contributes to an understanding of Dominicanness and Dominican identity, through the diaspora, that is not dependent on concrete geographical borders but as “open wounds” as Anzaldúa would describe in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. There is still much work to do that will consider the ways in which Dominicanness and mestizaje cross and intersect with each other, as well as diverge from each other. However, I will only begin to do so in this thesis by bringing them together alongside each other in this text.

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