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Title: In the Sweet Balance of Dominican-American Identity: Diasporic Imaginary, Gender and Politics in Junot Díaz’s "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (2007)
Author: Ortega Montero, Óscar
Director: Alsina, Cristina
Keywords: Etnicitat
Identitat sexual
Dominicans (República Dominicana)
Identitat col·lectiva
Tesis de màster
Díaz, Junot, 1968-.The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Gender identity
Dominicans (Dominican Republic)
Group identity
Masters theses
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2014
Abstract: In "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" the well-acclaimed Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz portrays the harrowing story of the de León family. A family, indeed, who manages to scrape out an existence in the United States after leaving the Dominican Republic as a direct consequence of a series of untimely tragedies, namely Trujillo's dictatorship or the fukú that both cursed and haunted the whole family –Beli's inability to feel love and her writhing in intense pain, Oscar's clumsiness at seducing women or Lola's aimless life attest for it. Thus, the de León family embodies the diasporic experience and the need to reshape their notion of Dominicanness accordingly. This consideration implies not only challenging the monolithic representation of Dominican identity, but also, and more importantly, coming to terms with the transcultural discourse of modernity. In such process roots and routes grapple with each other in an attempt at constructing a hyphenated identity. The analysis of diasporic identities in the novel includes, but is not limited to, political regeneration and agency, exploration of (diasporic) masculinity, sexual identity and cultural dissidence. Furthermore, the novel highlights the key role that political and sexual agency plays in this (re)construction of Dominicanness in that the accomplishment of the former enhances the achievement of the latter. So much so that the representation of the diaspora in the text succeeds in constituting itself as a tangible and alternative bodypolitics to former constraints, thus developing effective strategies of resistance so as to recover from the conflict that Trujillo's dictatorship entails. Memories of the Trujillato cannot get dimmer with each passing year and it is through fiction that a healing process comes true. This research aims to intertwine theories of postcoloniality and strategies of identity deconstruction with topics ranging from politics to diaspora or contesting – nearly subversive – masculinities in order to explore the so-called hyphenated identities and 'on the way' cultures in greater detail.
Note: Màster Oficial en Construcció i Representació d'Identitats Culturals (CRIC), Facultat de Filologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Any: 2014, Director: Dra. Cristina Alsina Rísquez
Appears in Collections:Màster Oficial - Construcció i Representació d'Identitats Culturals (CRIC)

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