Nuevo reportaje sobre las manifestaciones contra la Junta Central Electoral y elecciones municipales del 2020 en la República Dominicana.

Nuestro agradecimiento al periodista Julio Pérez por donar la segunda edición de su reportaje a nuestra biblioteca.

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Periodista Julio Pérez en las instalaciones del Instituto de Estudios Dominicanos de CUNY (CUNY-DSI), 2 de agosto de 2022

Pérez, Julio. ¿Hasta dónde se extendieron las protestas? Santo Domingo: Revoltiao, 2022.

¿Hasta dónde se extendieron las protestas? es un reportaje sobre la movilización de la juventud dominicana en contra del arrebato a la democracia producto de la suspensión de las elecciones municipales dominicanas, en febrero de 2020, con una recopilación de las localidades en las que la manifestación fue replicada por los civiles y la diáspora.
Este reportaje resalta la organización y conexiones que se generaron a través de las redes sociales y de la gran participación de dominicanos en las protestas desde sus inicios al nivel local y internacional.

Este nuevo reportaje está disponible para descargar gratis para investigadores y el público interesado en leer sobre el tema. Favor pulsar aquí.

Jhensen Ortiz, Bibliotecario


Renowned Ethnomusicologist and Jazz Musician Dr. Paul Austerlitz generously donates to our library!

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Professor and Chief Librarian Sarah Aponte, Dr. Paul Austerlitz, and Librarian Jhensen Ortiz receiving the donation on June 13, 2022.

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) Library is always happy to announce donations from patrons, professors, institutions, and colleagues who have supported our work over the years. To kick off the Fall semester, we are excited to share and thank our colleague Dr. Paul Austerlitz for donating part of his extensive collection of Dominican popular and folkloric music recordings of CDs, vinyl records, and audiocassettes to our library over the summer. Additionally, Dr. Austerlitz donated many rare and out-of-print books from his library that will help expand our collection in Dominican music literature and scholarship.

Moreover, in the last several weeks, we have begun sorting and organizing many items from this incredible donation. As a result, we’ve come across all sorts of unique materials in the collection, including a dedicated note and signature from legendary Dominican musician Félix del Rosario to Dr. Paul Austerlitz dated February 2, 1985:

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Dr. Paul Austerlitz holding Félix Del Rosario’s first self-titled LP released in 1964.

 

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Dedicated and signed by Félix Del Rosario to Dr. Paul Austerlitz.

This record will be a great addition to the library’s vinyl collection, as this is something we’ve been working on building over the last few years.

Dr. Paul Austerlitz Dominican Musicians Fieldwork Recordings, 1985-1996*

His donation also contains over 40 audiocassettes interviews conducted by Austerlitz while writing his dissertation/book: Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity. The collection is significant because among those interviewed are prominent musicians and artists, such as Joseíto Mateo, Tavito Vásquez, and Milly Quezada, and Dominican record executives, such as José Luis Santos, founder and owner of José Luis Records in the Dominican Republic. They recorded many popular recording artists like Fefita la Grande, Luis Segura, El Cieguito de Nagua, and Teodoro Reyes, to name a few.

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A snapshot of the many audiocassette interviews with renowned Dominican artists donated to the library.

Lastly, Dr. Austerlitz served as a humanities advisor from 2017-2020 for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsored interactive website A History of Dominican Music in the United States and contributed significant work to the Institute as a visiting research scholar at CUNY DSI.

We are grateful to Dr. Austerlitz for such a sizable donation, as this will benefit researchers, scholars, students, and the public for years to come.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


Visual artist Sofia Torres Prida donates her book “Sueños y Gloria: los Titanes del Béisbol en la República Dominicana” to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library

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Sofia Torres Prida signing the book for the library on May 23, 2022

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) Library is pleased to acknowledge the donation of the book Sueños y Gloria by Sofia Torres Prida.

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Cover of Sueños y gloria: los titanes del béisbol de la República Dominicana. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Grupo Sociedad Industrial Dominicana, 2021.

This beautiful coffee table book portrays the soul and personality of some of the most accomplished Dominican baseball players who have left a mark on the sport's history. The book is a photographic compilation of anecdotes featuring players such as Osvaldo Virgil, Felipe Alou, Juan Marichal, Pedro Martínez, and David Ortiz.

Sofia focuses on these great Dominican ball players' intimate lives and family values, allowing us to see an aspect of their personal lives we rarely get to appreciate in the world of professional baseball. Furthermore, the book provides many breathtaking shots of these athletes in unexplored spaces and moments that shape the meaning of this project. Torres Prida shares in this visual story the realities of baseball fame, strong work ethic, challenges overcoming poverty, and love for the game of her protagonists.

Sueños y Gloria is a highly recommended resource for researchers, students, scholars, and the general public interested in Dominican baseball players.

We are grateful to Sofia, who generously donated a copy of her publication to be included in CUNY DSI Library's collection.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


Through the lens: groana melendez’s West 176 street

Groana Melendez pt. 1
melendez, groana. West 176 Street. Brooklyn, NY: Matarile Ediciones, 2021.

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) Library is pleased to acknowledge the donation of the photo book West 176 Street by groana melendez. The book was donated by Martha Naranjo Sandoval who manages the small press Matarile Ediciones based in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Mexico City.

West 176 Street is the first title in a series that shows artists who are immigrants or children of immigrants in the diaspora. groana explores the space she and her relatives inhabit through a range of photographs in a three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights that capture their everyday lives and memorable moments in time. More importantly, the pictures permit the viewer to see the pages as part of a family photo album and herself as the subject, which presents the construction and negotiation of memory in many ways. The personal photographs function as a repository of memory that allows for the unraveling and examination of sequences of links between the individual contents, contexts, and meanings of the photographs themselves and broader aspects of shared, social, political, and national identity.

Groana Melendez pt. 2
melendez, groana. West 176 Street. Brooklyn, NY: Matarile Ediciones, 2021.

groana’s own words provide meaningful context about the publication by Matarile Ediciones:

“My parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States in the 70s. In the 90s they moved to Washington Heights, a neighborhood in upper Manhattan also known as “Little DR.” They created a home in a three-bedroom apartment in a fifth-floor walk-up on West 176th Street in 1995. It was an upgrade from their previous one-bedroom two blocks away. Now as they try to move into a home with an elevator, dishwasher, and seemingly better amenities for older adults, they are facing the challenges of letting go of belongings that do not fit into a smaller space and saying goodbye to their apartment on West 176th St. This is a look back at a family staple—the first stop for relatives emigrating from the Dominican Republic—and how it’s changed over time.”

The CUNY DSI Library is delighted to add this photo book to its artist book collection and is grateful for the generosity of the donor. The photo book will now be available to users for viewing and study for generations to come. We have additional work from her 2016 solo thesis exhibition, El Nombre Mío, Ajeno, which can be found in our online library catalog.

About the artist:

groana melendez is a Dominican lens-based artist whose work explores hybrid identities through self-representation. She was raised between New York City and Santo Domingo. She holds an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography-Bard Program. groana has participated in group exhibitions in Guadalupe, the Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art, and currently at El Museo del Barrio. She had solo shows at the New York Public Library, CUNY, and ICP-Bard’s studio in Queens. She works and lives in the Bronx in New York City. In 2015, she was a summer intern at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute contributing to various research projects during her time with us.

For more on groana and her lens-based works. You can visit her website here and follow her on Instagram @groana.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian

 


Rare Dominican Stamp Collection donated to the CUNY DSI Library

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DSA member Ethan Srebnick with the stamp collection he donated to the CUNY DSI Library.

On March 2022, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library received a unique stamp collection from Ethan Srebnick, a City College student and the Public Relations & Marketing Chair of the Dominican Students Association (DSA) on campus. Ethan participated in an educational workshop conducted by CUNY DSI’ Chief Librarian Prof. Sarah Aponte, and Librarian Jhensen Ortiz for the Dominican Students Association. He presented the rich stamp collection after the seminar concluded.

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Prof. Sarah Aponte viewing the stamp collection along with Ethan and other DSA members.

Ethan’s father shared a Fort Independence Neighborhood Association listing placed by an old couple giving away a stamp collection that had postages from around the world. Ethan was compelled to take this collection because a while ago, his great grandmother had shared with him her collection of stamps. Ethan generously donated the section with the stamps from the Dominican Republic to the Dominican Library helping us to continue our vital work to preserve and educate visitors on Dominican history and culture.

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The New Word Wide Postage Stamp Album originally published by Minkus Publications in 1953.

About the Dominican Stamp Collection

The impressive stamp collection is representative of the Trujillo Dictatorship (1930-1961) in the Dominican Republic, including symbols and images of Dominican cultural history such as flags, famous monuments, coats of arms, key national figures, natural landmarks, and government institutions, to name a few. The collection is characterized by significant elements of Dominican state iconography and Trujillo’s cult personality that demonstrates the propaganda value of postage stamps. In addition, these stamps can serve as an excellent primary source for the symbolic messages that overtly or subtly promote nationalism that governments seek to convey to their citizens and the world.

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A handful of the postage stamps donated from the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo Dictatorship. (Double click on the image to get a closer look)

The CUNY DSI Library is very fortunate to have our first stamp collection from the Dominican Republic highlighting the historical and cultural value of the Dominican Republic during the oppressive Trujillo regime. Thanks again to Ethan Srebnick for donating this series of stamps to us. We look forward to sharing them with our patrons.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


Alum/Author spotlight: Alejandro Heredia’s You’re The Only Friend I Need

Alejandros Book
Heredia, Alejandro. You’re The Only Friend I Need. Los Angeles, C.A.: Gold Line Press, 2021

We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate and share our thoughts on queer Afro-Dominican writer and community organizer Alejandro Heredia’s debut collection of short stories You’re The Only Friend I Need, as well as briefly acknowledge his time with us at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Alejandro worked as a research associate for three years helping us advance and develop several long-term projects at the Institute. One of those projects involved the forgotten early twentieth century Dominican writer Mercedes Mota and her experiences in the United States denouncing U.S. imperialism. Moreover, he was featured in a Manhattan Times article when CUNY launched the first “Dominican Studies Master’s Program” in 2017 where he expressed the importance of the program for a new generation of students.

Alejandro at CUNY DSI 2015
Alejandro Heredia pictured here at Institute amongst CUNY DSI junior scholars and research fellows in the summer of 2015.

At the end of 2021, Alejandro participated in CUNY DSI’s two-day international virtual conference The Struggle for Freedom in La Español: Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the First Slave Revolt in the Americas on the panel titled “Crafting Resistance: Artistic Renderings of the Dominican Imaginary” where he discussed revising Dominican origins and literary imagination.

Heredia’s debut short story collection You’re The Only Friend I Need illustrates how the complexity and nuance of friendship shapes the transnational lives of the Dominican diaspora by centering Blackness and Queerness. Throughout the four stories, Heredia explores Dominican migration and identity through an intimate, authentic, fierce, and compassionate lens that reveals the joy and unapologetic nature of his characters in a decidedly cruel world.

This story short collection was published in May of 2021, but we couldn’t help sharing this amazing read with our visitors. We highly recommend this book for professors, librarians, students, and the general public looking to read and uplift Afro-Dominican diasporic voices and Black LGBTQIA experiences.

Personal thoughts:

Librarian Ortiz: I was absolutely floored by the flow of beautiful words and use of Dominican dialect in this collection, and the incredible Black Queer characters that refused to be limited by their circumstances and never gave up searching for themselves through their friendships. The final story “1999” left me wanting more and needing to know what was going to happen next and whether everything would work out for the main character. 

Prof. Aponte: Alejandro has a way of describing intimacies with respect and grace… by reading his work; we get a glimpse into a world that exists in a very palpable way.

If you’d like to read and follow Alejandro’s work you can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian

Prof. Sarah Aponte, Chief Librarian and Associate Professor


Author Spotlight: Teaching Resources for K-12 of Roberto Carlos García's [Elegies]

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Donated poetry collections by Roberto Carlos García: Melancolía, black / Maybe: An Afro Lyric, and [Elegies] are available at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library.

Dominican poet, storyteller, and essayist Roberto Carlos García shared a set of lesson plans based on his third poetry collection [Elegies] through the Dominican Writers Association. The detailed curriculum prepared by the Grow Society includes essential questions, assessments of student learning, a section for materials, Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Learning Standards, to name a few of the critical components these lesson plans offer.

The lesson plans are arranged as followed:

  • Lesson 1, pages 1-2,  Students are introduced to [Elegies]
  • Lesson 2, pages 3-4, Students draft their own elegy
  • Lesson 3, pages 5-7, Students share each other’s elegies

They provide a general outline useful for teachers since it helps to see how the lesson might fit in a teaching period.

 Lesson one, for example,

Opener à Mini-Lesson à Learning Activity à Closer.

Opener: word association activity w/ share-out

Mini-Lesson: Teacher introduces elegy poems (frame/define)

Learning Activity: Students read and annotate Garcia elegies

Closer:  Reflection question, (“What does the poem that you read today remind or make you think of?”)

These lesson plans could be used by anyone, including teachers, homeschooling parents/teachers, and librarians. 

You can download the lesson plans below. Download [Elegies] & black_Maybe Lesson Plan for K-12

Roberto Carlos García is available for class visits and you may reach him here.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian

*Special thanks to Jayson Castillo, a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center and Research Associate at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute for his insights and feedback on the lesson plans.


Artist Yelaine Rodriguez donates personal archive to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library

Yelaine Rodriguez
Yelaine Rodriguez at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Archives and Library, November 23, 2021

Yelaine Rodriguez, the Bronx-based Dominican interdisciplinary artist, curator, and educator best known for her bold wearable art and site-specific installations on Afro-syncretic traditions, has donated a part of her personal archive to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library. The Yelaine Rodriguez archive, which currently consists of ephemera, will grow over time to include additional research papers, lectures, correspondence, sketches, photographs, and videos.

In the email interview that follows, Yelaine Rodriguez discusses what informs and influences her work through the course of her journey up until now.

1. What path did you take to become an artist and curator? 

Y: I like to think that I was always an artist, curating came second. I grew up within a family of artists. As the youngest in my family, I observed everything. With a mother as a hairdresser, a grandmother that constantly crocheted, an older brother into comic books, and with an older sister in the illustration department at Parsons, creativity always surrounded me. My older sister struggled after graduating from Parsons because she did not have elders as an example in the field to guide her. As a result, my mother was very skeptical about her children taking on a career in the arts. Therefore, I decided on a BFA in fashion design. My thought process was that a degree in fashion design would provide financial stability while in a creative field. Ironically the fashion industry was one of the first industries negatively impacted by the pandemic.  

For a while, being in the fashion industry allowed me to fund my art and other creative interest, but it wasn’t my main focus. When I graduated from Parsons, I went to Altos de Chavon in La Romana, the Dominican Republic as a Teacher Assistant and Resident Assistant in 2013. During that time, the Dominican Republic was in the middle of a human rights violation case with neighboring country Haiti. The Dominican government implemented a new law rendering Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless. At the time, I didn’t consider myself very political. I would attend protests and community meetings to lend my support, but I wanted to do something that felt more natural to me. That was when my journey as a curator came to fruition. I saw curating as a classroom, as an opportunity for gathering and sharing ideas, and since then, I have tried to maintain that same sentiment in every exhibit I do. 

2. La Lucha exhibition series was groundbreaking, provocative, and enlightening for people of Dominican and Haitian descent seeking to educate themselves and find creative spaces to have a conversation about the Dominican and Haitian communities' shared history. Can you talk about its origins and trajectory?

Y: La Lucha came about during a time of political unrest in the Dominican Republic. In 2013 while on the island working as a teaching assistant and resident assistant, I found myself in an ironic situation. I was in a bubble of like-minded creative people talking about the political issues in a safe place while our community was out in the street fighting against the injustice implemented by the Dominican government. I wanted to do something about it, but I wasn’t sure what would be the best use of my time. While hearing some Dominican nationalists use language as an excuse to other their brothers and sisters from Haiti made me think of using art as a communication tool. I had no idea how to put together an exhibition or where to begin, so I approached galleries in the Dominican Republic. Of course, they all turned me down, saying that the topic was too political, thus forcing me to take my exhibition idea to New York. In New York, I soon realized that even in this so-called melting pot, we are divided. Through word-of-mouth recommendations, I commenced meeting artists all over the city of Dominican and Haitian descent. The first exhibition, which took place on a cold February evening in 2015, brought in a significantly large crowd. Every 30-mins, I had to send people out of the exhibition space to bring a new crowd in. That night even a group of Dominican nationalists came to protest. I didn’t realize how many emotions this exhibit would trigger. Good or bad, it sparked a conversation making it a success in my eyes. All I wanted with this series was to bring the community together to celebrate our similarities and our differences. Three exhibitions later, those artists are still in my life. It is great to see how to this day, various members of the collective have continued to foster their relationship with each other. Additionally, to witness the several projects that have emerged as a result. I am pleased to say that I was able to do that.

3. What social, artistic, and political perspectives inform your work?

Y: Themes around post-coloniality, slavery, and identity formation within the Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latinx communities regularly circulate and inform my work. Afro-syncretism as a connector to the past, present, and future within African diasporic communities is of uttermost importance and dominant factor within my artistic and curatorial practices. I research sites of historically significant (both nature and architecture ruins alike) throughout the Caribbean and the United States to reimagine new perspectives and alternative futures through wearable art, photography, and video documentation. My work lives simultaneously between the past and the present. I source archival material and consult with the African diasporic communities I am connected to, thus creating images that speak to the collective experience. I am also particularly interested in gentrification and the changing landscape. I often ask myself who were the original inhabitants of this location before selecting a site for my shoots? Who is currently living here, and who will eventually end up here? Asking myself these questions helps me construct a more rounded project, holds me accountable, and keeps me informed.

4. One can find many influences in your fashion practice. Can you discuss specifically the role of Afro-Latinx and Caribbean religions in your fashion art and as a curator?

Y: I started researching Afro-syncretic religions in the Dominican Republic and Haiti out of curiosity. Growing up, I saw bits and pieces of these traditions scattered around in various Afro-Latinx homes, but it was never fully passed down or openly spoken about to me. While researching in my early twenties, I was intrigued by the similarities and differences between these religions. Geography and language truly reconstruct how people practice and interpret these African traditions. It became evident that Afro-syncretic religions are connectors to our ancestors and each other no matter what language we speak or our geographical location. I was also interested in how others outside of these cultures negatively perceived these Afro-centered traditions. In addition, how the colonial mindset is still a factor that removes us from our roots. Because even within Black communities, we condemn Afro-syncretic religions while embracing Christianity. Through my artistic practice, I seek to create images that break away from these negative stereotypes. Images that celebrate Black Latinidad and African diasporic communities while recognizing the past. As a curator, I strive to provide a platform where other Afro-Latinx and Caribbean artists exploring themes of spirituality and coloniality could have a voice. Also to highlight our African roots within vernacular cultures and the quotidian.

5. How do you engage with historical materials when curating an exhibition and as an artist?

Y: As an artist, I use historical material as inspiration. I find historical accounts, read them against the grain, and reinterpret them within my artistic practice. I rarely take the archives as absolute facts. I take into consideration the archivist and their purpose? . What was the archivist's intention in preserving these materials or their bias? I usually pull from colonial archives, hence why I am skeptical about my findings. Yet, I use the opportunity to reimagine history and give a voice to those silenced or erased by colonial archives. I see myself traveling more in the future. I intend to visit these historical sites mentioned in the archival materials I've found, incorporating them into my photography and video work, as a practice of accountability and preservation.

6. Can you tell us more about your experience directing and producing the chamber opera EBBÓ? What were some of the new elements that you introduced to this piece?

Y: EBBÓ originally premiered in 1998. It is a chamber opera based in Cuba, highlighting themes and elements found in Santeria throughout the narrative by Cuban composer Louis Aguirre and librettist Rafael Almanza. This interpretation of EBBÓ was commissioned by the America Society, specifically for online viewing. Set in the Dominican Republic, I envision EBBÓ in two ruins connected to the colonial and slave period of Hispaniola. I brought this opera to Ingenio Boca de Nigua, where the first documentation of Black resistance took place in the entire island of Hispaniola. It was a rebellion organized by an enslaved woman in the 1700s by the name of Ana Maria. I found her story to have some similarities with the protagonist of EBBÓ, making these ruins the perfect location for the film. It was also the longest short film I have done, as of today, incorporating dancers from the Dominican Republic. It was such a great experience working on this film on the island with a full Dominican cast and crew. This opportunity allowed me to join my interest in Dominican history, specifically history connected to acts of rebellion and resistance, with Afro-syncretism.

7. You recently submitted your Master’s thesis, “The Ghost Personified: Race, Museum Exclusionary Practices, and Archival silences in Dominicanyork art,” for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies / Museum Studies program at New York University. Can you discuss what motivated you to conduct research and write about this topic? In addition, what were some of the challenges with researching and writing this thesis? 

Y: I am well aware that my efforts are part of a continuous dialogue and collective struggle. My goal for my thesis paper was to highlight the Dominican York artists that paved the way for me and my contemporaries. My thesis thus celebrates Dominican York artists and illustrates the collective and individual efforts made by Dominican York artists to heighten visibility within US and Dominican visual culture discourse. My motivation for this thesis was personal as a self-identifying Dominican York artist with an outsider/insider disposition in the Dominican Republic and the States. I wanted to highlight that Dominican York art is Dominican and American art. Therefore, it should be readdressed as such within museum institutions across the United States and the Dominican Republic. I interviewed three Dominican York artists from distinctive generations spanning from the 1960s to the 1990s. My goal was to demonstrate how artists have inched towards cultural equity, providing stepping stones for the next generations. However, I also wanted to showcase that despite these strides, Dominican York artists have yet to reach a higher position within the art world as their contemporaries (Nuyorican), regardless of being one of the largest immigrant populations in New York. 

Researching during the pandemic was a great challenge. However, I was able to rely on a robust community that was eager to share resources such as books and articles from their private archives. I was able to do this due to years of community building through my cultural collective of La Lucha: Dominican Republic and Haiti, One Island that allowed me to build a family of artists throughout the year. I employ my community back on the island to get resources that have not been archived, either because of lack of resources or other hierarchical political reasons. Without this community, a thesis such as this would have been impossible to complete. Most of my archival material was from personal archives. This experience made me come to the realization that there is much to be done as our story is scattered around in fragmented pieces. One of the articles that informed my work was an interview by Felix Disla that you shared with me. Via social media, I tracked down one of his former students who had a book by Disla that was out of print and was not in any of the libraries in NY. A friend of mine met up with Disla former student and scanned it for me. In the article, there was mention of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum curated by Disla. I reached out to Suhaly Bautista-Carolina that currently works at the Met, whom I have known for years, and she was able to track down a copy of the invitation. Without my community, my thesis wouldn't be possible. It is a collective effort.

8. Lastly, would you like to share any entertaining anecdotes or details from past exhibitions in this collection that make them particularly interesting?

Y: The first exhibition of La Lucha: Dominican Republic and Haiti, One Island, as I mentioned earlier, was protested by a group of Dominican nationalists. That evening they handed out fliers condemning the exhibition and challenging my character. Days leading to the opening, I found myself erasing hate messages on the Facebook invite. I did not want this negativity amongst my community. However, it got to a point it was overwhelming, and I decided people should see them. I didn't know we would get protestors during opening night. However, reading their article motivated me even more. It showed me how much work we have ahead of us, especially when people from the same cultural background have such polarizing points of view about our history. I found this piece and would love to add it to the archives.

Yelaine archives
Close up on the materials donated to the library

We would like to express our gratitude once again for Yelaine donating these materials to the library, and we look forward to incorporating her work in the future alongside other artists through the digital project Dominican Artists in the United States to help further disseminate her work with researchers, students, teachers, and the general public. 

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


Donor Appreciation for renowned writer Julia Álvarez

We are indebted to the award-winning novelist, poet and essayist Julia Álvarez for her donations and continuous support to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library. We are fortunate to have received her timely donations that include complete collections of her published writings as well as books and rare materials from her personal library. These invaluable sources provide insights on topics related to the history, society and culture of the Dominican Republic. Scholars and students who visit our Dominican Library from around the world have benefited from these kind donations.

The donated materials include one of a kind, rare publications, videos, and vinyl records, which are very difficult to locate or out of print. Among these, we can find the exceptional collection published by the Sociedad Dominicana de Bibliófilos, an institution devoted to the perseveration, promotion, and dissemination of the traditional Dominican bibliographic canon through the re-edition of Dominican classic texts and foreign authors. The Dominican Library dedicated a special shelve section to this first edition reprint donation in honor of Eduardo and Julia Álvarez, parents of Julia Álvarez. These books cover a wide range of subjects including literature, art, politics, history, economics, and culture. More recently, thanks to Álvarez’s agency, the Dominican Library received thirty-eight additional titles from the Sociedad Dominicana de Bibliófilos to complete this one of a kind collection. We would like to acknowledge Bibliófilos member Tomas Taveras (Álvarez’s cousin), who sent the materials.

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Sociedad Dominicana de Bibliófilos collection named after Eduardo and Julia Alvarez at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library

A Selection of Alvarez’s adult and children publications available at the Dominican Library:

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From left to right: How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1995), Yo: A Novel (1997), In the Name of Salomé: a Novel (2000), Cuando la Tía Lola vino a quedarse (2001), Un regalo de gracias: la leyenda de la Altagracia (2007), and El mejor regalo del mundo: la leyenda de La Vieja Belén (2009).

A selection of audio-visual materials donated by Alvarez from her personal library:

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From left to right: Camila Henríquez Ureña: ensayo, LP (1981), Caimoni: imágenes del pasado (VHS, 1997), and Voces Dominicanas (LP/vinyl, 1960s).

We are grateful for Julia Álvarez’s support and encourage students and researchers to visit the CUNY DSI Library to use these important materials.

Prof. Sarah Aponte, Chief Librarian 

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


Donor spotlight: Kianny N. Antigua

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library would like to take a moment to acknowledge the generous donations of Dominican fiction writer, poet, and translator Kianny N. Antigua to our library over the years. Antigua has been a long-time supporter of the Dominican Library, which is located at The City College of New York, where she received her B.A. and M.A. degrees. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Spanish at Dartmouth College and a freelance translator and adapter for Pepsqually VO & Sound Design, Inc. Antigua has published twenty-two children's literature books, four short stories, two books of poetry, an anthology, a book of micro-fiction, a novel and a magazine. She has won sixteen literary awards, and her writings appear in various anthologies, textbooks, magazines, and other media. Some of her stories have also been translated into English, French, and Italian.

Antigua recently donated the book Literary Works by 10 Dominican Women, a tribute compilation to ten transcendental Dominican women writers who have lived or live outside of the Dominican Republic: Camila Henríquez Ureña, Rhina Espaillat, Mélida García, Osiris Mosquea, Josefina Báez, Aurora Arias, Yrene Santos, Marianela Medrano, Sussy Santana and Rosa Silverio. The anthology was originally published in Spanish by the Dominican Writers Association in 2019 (10 dominicanas de letras: Homenaje & antología). Antigua compiled and edited this anthology in its entirety.

Allow us to share an amusing detail about Kianny Antigua’s donations; sometimes the publications arrive with sticky notes or dedications that warm our hearts. We deeply appreciate them.

Ten Dominican Women book cover
Antigua, Kianny N. 10 Dominican women. New York: DWA Press, 2021

Note from Antigua
Here is a selection of Kianny’s adult and scholarly publications available at the Dominican Library:

Antigua DSI Library publications
From left to right: El expreso (2004), 9 Iris y otros malditos cuentos (2010), Cuando el resto se apaga (2013), El tragaluz del sótano: cuentos (2014), Extracto (2015), Caléndula (2016), and Un zompo peculiar (2018).

Here is a selection of Kianny’s children books available at the library:

Antigua DSI Library childrens book
From left to right: Mía, Esteban y las nuevas palabras/Mía, Esteban and the New Words (2004), El canto de la lechuza (2015), Al revés/ Upside down (2016), Elementos (2016), Greña/Crazy Hair (2017), Con luz propia: Camila Henríquez Ureña (2020), Kiara y el virus/Kiara and the virus (2020).

Once again, we would like to thank Kianny for her commitment in donating all her publications to the library as soon as they are off the press and for enriching not only our collection, but also our patrons who otherwise would not have access to her work.


¡Muchas gracias Kianny!


Prof. Sarah Aponte, Chief Librarian
Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian