LGBTQ Movements and Advocacy in the Dominican Republic (2 credits) Winter/Spring Semester 2012 New York University: Silver School of Social Work, LGBTQ Student Center, and Center for Student Activities, Leadership and Service´s Alternative Break Program Instructors: Monroe France and Celiany Rivera-Velázquez, PhD This service-learning course explores gender and sexuality-based social justice movements, nongovernmental organizations and queer cultures in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, specifically in island of Dominican Republic. We contextualize the Dominican Republic as a geopolitical ideological site with shared historical, cultural and linguistic manifestations with other Islands that compose the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, namely Cuba and Puerto Rico. We specifically explore culturally-specific mechanisms through which different feminist and LGBTQ Dominican groups and organizations have generated consciousness around the realities of people who experience discrimination because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Students who enroll for the course are expected to engage in experiential learning. The course will include 3 pre-departure class meetings at New York University, 12 consecutive days of lectures and service in Santo Domingo and a post-trip meeting. We will take an intersectional approach to understand how issues of class, religion and race affect the lives of people that live outside gender and sexualities binaries. This class focuses on metropolitan spaces because these hold such rich histories of struggle with Western ideals of development and because of the different marginalized cultures and subjectivities that inhabit ―the city‖ as landscape. This class has a special interest in interrogating the ways in which sexuality is fundamentally different when experienced in an urban context. In preparation for the trip and throughout the extension of the visit, students will get the opportunity to meet with various professors, non-for-profit organizational leaders, clinicians, queer activists and performers to gain a better sense of the work done around various social issues. The main goal is to understand the complexities around the fact that many Caribbean countries still criminalize same-sex acts and where alternative gender expressions under scrutiny by the State. The course seeks to generate more in-depth understandings of the ways in which ways the criminalization of LGBTQ bodies in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean inform the experience of LGBTQ people living in these areas—at the individual, the interpersonal and the ideological level? The materials covered will scope from theoretical frameworks to hands-on expertise of how gender and sexuality advocacy is conducted in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Prior, during and post trip classes and reflections must combine the information obtained from the readings as well as the different service projects, which are aimed to develop a strong knowledge base of social movements, a greater sense of civic responsibility and skills on being effective public servants. The faculty will facilitate the in-class discussions, while two teaching assistants (Alternative Break site leaders) will facilitate the out of class learning experiences and trainings.
Assignments/Grading: In addition to active participation in the discussion seminars, field visits, and service project, students will participate in daily reflection activities, maintain a reflection journal, and write a 810 page final paper. Class Participation/Attendance: Three-page Reading Response Paper: Daily Journal: Eight to Ten Pages Final Paper: Service participation:
25% 15% 20% 40% Not graded, but mandatory component to complete course; approximately 40 hours of service.
Class Participation (25%) Class participation is an important element of our course and can take several forms. It could be from making informed comments, to asking questions posed by lecturers and presenters, to generally showing intellectual curiosity or domain of a topic by actively listening and engaging in conversation. Pre Departure classes, post trip classes and written assignments will be delivered: Kimmel Center for University Life NYU LGBTQ Student Center 60 Washington Sq. S, Suite 602 New York, New York 10012 Reading response paper to assigned readings for the course (15%, 3 pages) Due date: Friday, January 6 by 1 pm. Everyone will write one response paper (3 pages double spaced) based on an overall response of readings prior to trip departure. This paper should be a critical analysis that should engage all the readings that we’ve done in preparation for pre-departure guest lectures. Journals (20%, approximately 15 - 20 entries) Due date: Monday, January 30 by 5 PM. You are asked to keep a reflective journal of your class discussions and daily service work while in the community. This will include your personal reflections and reactions. You will receive instructions and a suggested format of the journal. Submit to the front desk staff at the NYU LGBTQ Student Center. Final Paper (40%, 8 – 10 pages) Due date: Friday, March 20 by 5 PM. In this final paper you will examine one social issue in the Dominican Republic and the movement built around it. This paper should take a comparative approach, and should cover an issue discussed in class or while on the site visits. Please include aspects of your service experience in the paper. Submit to the front desk staff at the NYU LGBTQ Student Center.
Class Sessions Prior to the trip January 4 Overview of Dominican History Guest lecture by Dr. Melissa Madera Assigned Readings: Gregory, Steven. (2007). Introduction. In The Devil Behind the Mirror: Globalization and Politics in the Dominican Republic. University of California Press. pp. 1-10. San Miguel, Pedro L. (2005). The Imagined Colony: Historical Visions of Colonial Santo Domingo. In The Imagined Island: History, Identity, and Utopia in Hispaniola. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill. pp 8 – 34. Supplementary Reading (available searching book title in Google Scholar, 23 pages): Turits, Richard Lee. (2003). Introduction. In Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History. California: Stanford University Press. Homework Mariano Barroso's ―In the Time of the Butterflies‖ Movie Optional Screening: January 4 at 3:30 pm at NYU LGBTQ Student Center
January 5 State of Contemporary LGBTQ Issues in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean Guest lectures by Dr. Tanya Saunders (Cuban contemporary LGBTQ issues) and Olga Orraca (Puerto Rican contemporary LGBTQ issues via video conference), moderated by Dr. Celiany Rivera-Velázquez. Richard Webb from ProWorld does a pre-departure speech. Assigned Readings: Padilla, M. B. (2007). Global Sexual Spaces and their Hierarchies. In Caribbean Pleasure Industry: Tourism, Sexuality, and AIDS in the Dominican Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 28 – 45. Padilla, M. B. (2007). Shifting Cultural Politics and Sexual Identity. In Caribbean Pleasure Industry: Tourism, Sexuality, and AIDS in the Dominican Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 76-105. Lara, A.M. (2006). Our Names are Never Silent. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.) Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp. 5-12). Santo Domingo: Idegraf.
January 6 Open discussion about some of the topics we will be exploring in DR. Possible topics may include: colonial legacies, contemporary LGBTQ movements around the world, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean as a concept, history of the role of queer lesbians in the GBTQ movement, youth homelessness, the intersection of LGBTQ experiences and religion/spirituality, HIV AIDS and the LGBTQ community, sex work, transgender women and sex work, LGBTQ presence on college campuses and the United States’ influences in countries around the world.
Overview of the Schedule during the Visit in DR (Meet Joselina Fay and Marianela Carvajal from Republika Libre via Skype) Supplementary Reading (in Spanish, so not mandatory): Informe de Derechos Humanos en la Republica Dominicana 2010. http://spanish.santodomingo.usembassy.gov/hr2010-repdom-s.html
Classes during Alternative Break Trip in DR (subject to change) January 8 Alternative Social Movements in the Dominican Republic Fatima Portorreal, INTEC Professor Discussion of the agenda and political work of alternative social movements in the Dominican Republic; focusing on rural, feminist and Hatian-Dominican movements.
January 10 Iglesia Comunidad Metropolitana (Metropolitan Community Church) Wilkin Lara, Senior Pastor Introduction to the Iglesia de la Comunidad Metropolitana in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
January 11 Consejo Presidencial del SIDA (Presidential Council for AIDS) Dr. Luis Rodriguez and Dr. Tony DeMoya Introduction to the work of COPRESIDA, a gobermental agency which seeks to reduce the impact and spread of HIV and AIDS epidemic through concerted political, programmatic and financial efforts. Afuera Hay Aire Screening of the first film documenting the LGBT community in the DR. Film will be followed by a panel discussion with film participants.
January 13 Chris King/Marlenne Bennedeck Dumont, Executive Director Introduction to TRANSSA the first Dominican organization for female-identified Transsexuals, Transgender and Transvestite individuals.
January 16 Danilo German, Leader of UniGTH Introduction to the work of the organization Universidad Gay, Trans y Hombres que Tienen Sexo con Hombres (UniGTH). (University Organization for Gay, Trans and Men that have sex with men.)
Classes after trip: TBD (1-2 classes in February and March. To be coordinated by site leaders/ TAs)
Supplementary Readings (most available through Blackboard) Castillo, Y. (2006). The Builder. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.85-86). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Decena, C. (2008). Tacit Subjects. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 14(2-3), 339359. Horn, M. (2008). Queer Caribbean Homecomings: The Collaborative Art Exhibits of Nelson RicartGuerrero and Christian Vauzelle. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 14(2-3), 361-381. Lara, A.M. (2006). The Girl From Boston. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.104). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Mayes, A.J. (2008). Why Dominican Feminism Moved to the Right: Class, Colour and Women’s Activism in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1940s. Gender & History, 20(2), 349-371. Norman, L. (2006). Brujería Love. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.101-102). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Norman, L. (2006). Mejor Puta Que Pata (Better a Whore Than a Lesbian). In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.132-134). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Padilla, M.B. & Castellanos, D. (2008). Discourses of Homosexual Invasion in the Dominican Global Imaginary. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 5(4), 31-44. Pantaleón, V.M. (2006). Untitled. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.135-141). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Ravelo, J. (2006). Roots. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.84). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Rivera-Velázquez, C. (2007). ―The importance of being Rita Indiana-Hernández: womencentered video-, sound- and performance-interventions within Spanish Caribbean Cultural Studies”. In McCarthy et al. (Eds.) Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, & Policy (pp. 205-227). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. Suárez, L. (2006). Introduction. The Tears of Hispaniola: Haitian and Dominican Diaspora Memory. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Volquez, P.F. (2006). Complex. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.105-106). Santo Domingo: Idegraf. Zen. (2006). Desire. In J. Jiménez Polanco (Ed.), Divagaciones bajo la Luna: Voces e imágenes de lesbianas dominicanas/Musing Under the Moon: Voices and Images of Dominican Lesbians (pp.99-100). Santo Domingo: Idegraf.
Suggested Readings / Film (not available through Blackboard) Candelario, Ginnetta E. B. (2007). Black Behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops. North Carolina: Duke University Press. Corporan, C., & Forunato, R. (1991). Trujillo: El Poder del Jefe, The Trilogy. Dominican Republic: Video Cine Palau. Lara, A. (2006). Erzulie’s Skirt. Washington DC: Red Bone Press. Glave, T. (Ed.). (2008). Our Caribbean: a gathering of lesbian and gay writing from the Antilles. Durham: Duke University Press. Kempadoo, K. (Ed.). (1999). Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex work in the Caribbean. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Arroyo, J. (2006). To Queer or not to Queer: Coloniality, Feminism and New Research Agendas. Latin American Studies Association FORUM, 3, 10-12. Caleb Acevedo, D., Agosto, M., & Negron, L. (Eds.). (2007) Los otros cuerpos: Antología de temática gay, lésbica y queer desde Puerto Rico y su diáspora. San Juan: Editorial Tiempo Nuevo. Chin, T.S. (1997). Bullers and Battymen: Contesting Homophobia in Black Popular Culture and Contemporary Caribbean Literature. Callaloo, 20(1), 127-141. Crespo-Kebler, E. (2003). The Infamous Crime Against Nature: Constructions of Heterosexuality and Lesbian Subversions in Puerto Rico. In L. Lewis (Ed.). The Culture of Gender and Sexuality in the Caribbean. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Cruz-Malavé, A., & Manalansan, M. (Eds.). (2002). Queer globalizations: citizenship and the afterlife of colonialism. New York: New York University Press. Decena, Carlos. (2011). Tacit Subjects: Belonging and Same Sex Desire among Dominican Immigrant Men. North Carolina: Duke University Press. García, M., & Jiménez, M.C. (Eds.). (2004) Antología De La Literatura Gay En La República Dominicana. Dominican Republic: Editora Manatí. Gregory, Steven. (2007).The Devil Behind the Mirror: Globalization and Politics in the Dominican Republic. University of California Press. Pareja, R., & Hasbun, J. (1992). Profiles of sexual activity in the gay community of the Dominican Republic and the level of AIDS risk. In L. S. Bond (Ed.). A portfolio of AIDS/STD behavioral interventions and research (pp. 143-51). Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Turits, Richard Lee. (2003). Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History. California: Stanford University Press.