Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Michelle Decker

Reader 2

Myriam J. A. Chancy

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Hispaniola’s history, full of oppressive imperial forces from dictators to U.S. occupation has produced a deceptive narrative in which Dominicans and Haitians are imagined as enemies. This contrast, crafted by the island’s unstable history, is symbolized by the nations’ borders—the physical border dividing the two nations and the cultural borders of diasporic spaces. This thesis will address the reign of Rafael Trujillo and the historical national narrative formed during his reign that worked to portray both nations—Haitian and Dominican—as static in identity and bound by a respective binary: good vs. bad, white vs. black, and European vs. African. The intent of this thesis is to call attention to the gaps of many historical archives and to invoke different methods of historical recollection, such as the novel, to keep memory alive. Through close reading Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, I will show how Danticat emphasizes the Haitian experience, which ultimately destabilizes and even exposes the distorted Dominican historical national narrative crafted during Trujillo’s reign. Ultimately, Danticat’s novel, The Farming of Bones, destabilizes Trujillo’s false narratives that limit identity as static by revealing the pluralistic Haitian identity.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.