Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation argues the essays, fiction, non-fiction, and non-profit work of authors Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat, and Junot Díaz produce counter-narratives that when assembled, create a counter-archive of the Rafael Leonidas Trujillo dictatorship and its lasting effects. To support this claim, I analyze the various genres and medias they employ throughout the late 20thand early 21st centuries as redressing not only the “official” state history of the dictatorship, but also the overarching construction of history with a capital “H”. Through a close reading of form and the thematic concerns present in their work, I demonstrate how they challenge fundamental understandings of historical recording, notions about where historical artifacts and ephemeral materials remain, and, finally, the strategic inclusion/occlusion of certain voices as representative of “official” history. In doing so, I highlight how their counter-narratives provide examples of alternate voices and accounts of history through familial silences, testimonio, the imagination, and fast media. Finally, I offer the concluding argument that their larger counter-archival project creates the space for readers to imagine the implications of historical moments and history in a broader context, across generations and national borders.



Committee Chair

Otero, Solimar