Book Acquisitions

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

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

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.

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

This 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


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 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

Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes donates important publications to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library

Picture 1
The books donated to the library from Centro León

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Director Maria Amalia León for making possible a generous donation of the publications of Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes (Centro León) in the Dominican Republic. The donation includes an extensive assortment of books related to the history of photograph, tobacco in the Dominican Republic, art catalogs, and the proceedings of the Congreso Internacional Música, Identidad y Cultura en el Caribe hosted at Centro León in the past (genres of jazz, bolero, and folklore) In addition, their publications are now available online here.

This is the list of publications generously donated by Centro León:

  • Chez Checo, José, and Mu-Kien A. Sang. El tabaco: Historia general en República Dominicana. Volumen 1: Botánica, Usos, y Comercio. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2007.
  • Chez Checo, José, and Mu-Kien A. Sang. El tabaco: Historia general en República Dominicana. Volumen 2: Renacimiento y Expansión. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2007.
  • Chez Checo, José, and Mu-Kien A. Sang. El tabaco: Historia general en República Dominicana Volumen 3: Consolidación y Crisis. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2007.
  • Miller, Jeannette. Historia de la fotografía dominicana. Volumen 1. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Grupo León Jimenes, 2010.
  • Miller, Jeannette. Historia de la fotografía dominicana. Volumen 2. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Grupo León Jimenes, 2010.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989). Volumen 1: Región norte. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989). Volumen 2: Región sur. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989). Volumen 3: Región este. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989.) Volumen 4: Flora/Fauna. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989.) Volumen 5: Dunas/Formaciones Geológicas Origrafía/Volcanes. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • Ducoudray, Félix Servio, Arístides Incháustegui, and Blanca Delgado Malagón. La naturaleza dominicana: artículos publicados en el suplemento sabatino del periódico El caribe (1978-1989). Volumen 6: Àmbar/Varios/Anexos. Santo Domingo: Grupo León Jimenes, 2006.
  • López Belando, Adolfo. La memoria de las rocas: Arte rupestre en la República Dominicana. Santiago de los Caballeros: Fundacioń Eduardo León Jimenes: Fundación García Arévalo, 2019.
  • Anuario 2020: La cultura sigue siendo esperanza. Santiago de los Caballeros: Fundacioń Eduardo León Jimenes, 2020.
  • León de Jorge, María Amalia, Lisa K. Erf, Yolanda Wood, Sara Hermann, Michèle Dalmace, Alanna Lockward, and Jorge Pineda. Trenzando una historia en curso: arte dominicano contemporáneo en el contexto del Caribe. Santiago de los Caballeros: Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, 2017.
  • Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, Marianne de Tolentino, Rafael Emilio Yunén, Karenia Guillarón, Sara Hermann, and José M. Fernández Pequeño. Colección Eduardo León Jimenes de Artes Visuales: estructura, contenido, proyección, trascendencia. Santiago de los Caballeros: Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, 2012.
  • XXV Concurso de Arte Eduardo León Jimenes: catálogo de obras octubre 2014/ febrero 2015. Santiago de los Caballeros, Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes, 2014.
  • Tejeda, Darío, and Rafael E. Yunén. El Jazz desde la perspectiva caribeña: Memorias Del Iv Congreso Internacional Música, Identidad Y Cultura En El Caribe. Santo Domingo: INEC, Instituto de Estudios Caribeños; Santiago de los Caballeros: Centro León; Santo Domingo: Ministerio de Cultura, 2012.
  • Tejeda, Darío, and Rafael E. Yunén. El bolero en la cultura caribeña y su proyección universal: Memorias del Iii Congreso Internacional Música, Identidad Y Cultura En El Caribe. Santo Domingo: INEC, Instituto de Estudios Caribeños; Santiago de los Caballeros: Centro León; Santo Domingo: Ministerio de Cultura, 2010. 
  • Tejeda, Darío, and Rafael E. Yunén. El folclore musical y danzario del caribe en tiempos de globalización: Memorias Del V Congreso Internacional Música, Identidad Y Cultura En El Caribe. Santo Domingo: INEC, Instituto de Estudios Caribeños; Santiago de los Caballeros: Centro León; Santo Domingo: Ministerio de Cultura, 2014. 
Picture 2
The papers presented at the Congreso Internacional Música, Identidad y Cultura en el Caribe in 2013, 2011, and 2009 compiled and published in three separate books on jazz, bolero, and folklore.

Thank you once again to Centro León for their kind donation and for allowing us to share these publications with the many different communities we serve on campus and beyond.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian 

ONTO donates two publications to the CUNY DSI Library

ONTO Pub/1 edition and the third ONTO Pub /3 edition are now available at the library.

Professor Sarah Aponte would like to thank Julianny Ariza for donating two copies of the Dominican art publication ONTO to our library through artist Joiri Minaya, collaborator of ONTO publications. The donation consists of the ONTO Pub / 1 edition and the third ONTO Pub / 2 edition. We recommend checking out their website to learn more about this publication produced by Dominican artists on the current art scene in the Dominican Republic and other related issues here:

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian

Here Comes Calico! The First Dominican American Superhero

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library would like to thank Dominican writer, creator, and founder of Sigma Comics, H.H. German, for donating issues #1 and #2 of Here comes CALICO. CALICO is a new indie-comic book character named Hector Gil, with roots in San Francisco de Macorís, Dominican Republic, where he first experienced violence and abusive behavior towards animals.

  Calico-cover_orig (1)Here Comes CALICO. Issue #1 Cover.  CoverHere Comes CALICO. Issue #2 Cover.
In issue #1, Hector was bullied early on as a kid for being a "Dominican York," a term used to describe an American-born person of Dominican ancestry raised in New York City. The comic establishes these two parallel stories of Calico as a small boy confronted by a rich bully named "Guillermito" and of people who hurt innocent animals in a passionate, graphic, and uncensored way. Hector, a former boxer and mixed martial artist from the streets of the Bronx, takes vengeance against those who abuse and kill animals. The comic is for mature audiences willing to go on these vigilante justice adventures delving into the world of animal abuse, racial injustice, environmental crises, and gentrification. 

Furthermore, H.H. German makes carefully intended references in both issues #1 and #2 on Dominican culture while still tackling these topics. For example, in issue # 2, there is a scene while Calico is walking through the streets of the South Bronx that accurately captures the look of different businesses in the neighborhood. Such as "Cuchifritos Tito's," popular establishments specializing in various fried foods from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. 

Bronx-sceneHere Comes CALICO. Issue #2: Neighborhood view.

In the next scene from issue #2, Calico is driving to Washington Heights, the historic and predominantly Dominican community in upper Manhattan, while talking about baseball and the sense of pride Dominicans feel about the game. The Boston Red Sox was playing the New York Yankees in the story that night. The commentary that follows alludes to the evident success of Dominican ballplayers Pedro Martínez, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz, who helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

DominicansHere comes CALICO.  Issue #2: Driving to Washington Heights.

The reader will appreciate these references and the creative approach that H.H. German took to represent his community and provide a voice for a topic that does not get nearly enough media coverage: animal abuse. 

We recommend Here Comes Calico for adults interested in unique comics with excellent illustrations and honest storytelling. We look forward to receiving the next seven issues in the series! 

Note: Here comes CALICO was written by German, H.H. and illustrated by Javier Orabich and Daniel Grimaldi. The cover was created by Garnabiel.

Jhensen Ortiz



New Books: Recent Acquisitions in the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library

The CUNY DSI Library is proud to announce its recent acquisitions. We are grateful for the support and generosity of The City College Libraries. We look forward to making these titles available to students, researchers, and the general public very soon.

Click on the image to enlarge and get a closer look.

Here is a list of the books we acquired:

  • ¡Manteca! edited by Melissa Castillo-Garsow
  • Undocumented: A Dominican Boy's Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-El Padilla Peralta
  • Mi Casa Uptown: Learning to Love Again by Rich Perez
  • Countersong to Walt Whitman and Other Poems translated by Jonathan Cohen and Donald D. Walsh
  • The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic edited by Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmonds, and Jamila Woods
  • Alou My Baseball Journey by Felipe Alou and Peter Kerasotis
  • Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement and The Muse: An Anthology of Women Writers edited by Peggy Robles-Alvarado
  • Winterness by Juan Dicent
  • The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Dominican National Identity by April J. Mayes
  • Americans All: Good Neighbor Cultural Diplomacy in World War II by Darlene J. Sadlier
  • Escrituras del Otro Cuerpo by Johan Mijaíl Castillo
  • Despierta by Greisy M. Genao
  • Diccionario de Gestos Dominicanos by Faustino Pérez
  • Bichán by Miguel Yarull
  • Theatre and Cartographies of Power: Repositioning the Latina/o Americas by Jimmy A. Noriega and Analola Santana
  • The Pitcher and the Dictator: Satchel Paige's Unlikely Season in the Dominican Republic by Averell Smith

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian
CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
[email protected]





Thank you Dr. Minosca Victoria Alcántara for your visit and kind donation


Professor Sarah Aponte would like to thank Dr. Minosca Victoria Alcántara for donating her dissertation "Latina High School Students Figured World of Stem: Identity Formation in Formal and Informal Communities of Practice" (Teachers College, Columbia University 2015).  We are also grateful for her visit to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library.

William Parra

Research Assistant


Visita de historiadores dominicanos


El Profesor Anthony Stevens-Acevedo y la Profesora Sarah Aponte, Director Auxiliar y Encargada de la Biblioteca del CUNY DSI respectivamente, agradecen al Dr. Marcos Charles (izquierda en la fotografía) por coordinar la visita de los historiadores dominicanos José C. Novas, (segundo desde la izquierda), Luis Alvarez López (tercero desde la izquierda) y Ramón Emilio Espínola (derecha) a nuestra Biblioteca, donde donaron numerosas publicaciones de su autoría y compartieron ideas para futuras colaboraciones.

 Los historiadores donaron las siguientes publicaciones para que formen parte de nuestra colección:

 Luis Alvarez-López

-          Secuestro de bienes de rebeldes: estado y sociedad en la uìltima dominacioìn espanÞola, 1863-1865

-          Dieciséis conclusiones fundamentales sobre la anexión y la guerra de la restauración (1861-1865)

-          Cinco ensayos sobre el Caribe hispano en el siglo XIX : República Dominicana, Cuba y Puerto Rico 1861-1898

-          Dominican Republic and the Beginning of a Revolutionary Cycle in the Spanish Caribbean

-          Guerras de liberación en el Caribe hispano, 1863-1878

 Ramón Emilio Espínola

-          La participación dominicana en las guerras por la independencia de Cuba

-          Remembranzas: crónicas de la Ocupación 1916-1924, la era de los Estados Unidos.

-          Dominicanas ejemplare: estudio histórico-biográfico y breve análisis del machismo en la historia

-          Trujillo: causas e implicaciones que dieron origen a la dictadura

-          Trujillo y sus relaciones con los gobernantes haitianos

-          Trujillo, anécdotas y cosas de un dictador

-          Mujeres extraordinarias de la patria puertorriqueña

-          Compendio histórico-biográfico de extranjeros que participaron en la formación de la nación dominicana

 José C. Novas

-          El presidente Cáceres: fábula del progreso, el orden y la paz

-          La batuta de Alejandrito: perfil biográfico del general Alejandro Woss y Gil, 1856-1932

-          Twice the diplomat: Frederick Douglass's assignments to the island of Santo Domingo

-          Los gavilleros: la lucha nacionalista contra la ocupación, 1916-1924

-          Balaguer, Trujillo y el beso de Judas

-          Trujillo: La emboscada final: muerte y funeral del generalísimo


William Parra

Research Assistant