Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA in English



First Advisor

Elda Tsou

Second Advisor

Raj Chetty


Investigating Dominicans and Dominican-Americans in the context of whiteness studies, specifically through the Spanish phrase limpiar la raza (cleaning the race), this thesis will examine the existence and effects of whiteness on this population of Latin Americans. I am using my experience and current discourse and representation to explore the way whiteness and blackness are both re-enforced and transformed in the Dominican-American diaspora and what limpiar la raza might mean in the 21st century amongst island-based, U.S. born, and immigrant Dominicans. My goal is to reveal how the history of whiteness, anti-blackness, and racial confusion persists in the diaspora today and examine how both native and diasporic Dominicans translate this confusion differently. Using existing scholarship on whiteness and on racial understanding in the Dominican Republic, this project analyzes Dominican racial relations through whiteness studies in a way that does not yet exist in the scholarship. The fields of Whiteness Studies, Latinx Studies, and Black Studies have rarely looked at the Dominican population specifically; my project corrects this oversight.

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