Masculinity after Trujillo:
The Politics of Gender in Dominican Literature

Maja Horn

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"Provides an insightful look at the persistent power of masculinism in Dominican post-dictatorship politics and literature."--Ignacio López-Calvo, author of God and Trujillo

"The ideas about masculinization of power developed by Horn are important not only to Dominican scholarship but also to Caribbean and other Latin American students of the intersection of history, political power, and gendered practices and discourses."--Emilio Bejel, author of Gay Cuban Nation


Any observer of Dominican political and literary discourse will quickly notice the prevalence of certain notions of hyper-masculinity. In this extraordinary work, Maja Horn argues that these gender conceptions became ingrained during the dictatorship (1930-1961) of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, as well as through the U.S. military occupation that preceded it.

Where previous studies have focused mainly on Spanish colonialism and the sharing of the island with Haiti, Horn emphasizes the underexamined and lasting influence of U.S. imperialism and how it prepared the terrain for Trujillo’s hyperbolic language of masculinity. She also demonstrates how later attempts to emasculate the image of Trujillo often reproduced the same masculinist ideology popularized by his government.

Through the lens of gender politics, Horn enables readers to reconsider the ongoing legacy of the Trujillato, including the relatively weak social movements formed around racial and ethnic identities, sexuality, and even labor. She offers exciting new interpretations of such writers as Hilma Contreras, Rita Indiana Hernández, and Junot Díaz, revealing the ways they challenge dominant political and canonical literary discourses.


Maja Horn iis associate professor of Spanish and Latin American cultures at Barnard College.

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Will be of interest to anyone wishing to understand recent Dominican history and contemporary culture, both on the island and in diaspora.-- Hispanic American Historical Review

A novel and thoughtful analysis of the sexual gender relations and the construction of masculinity in contemporary Dominican culture.-- The Americas

Offers an engaging and well researched analysis that deepens our knowledge of contemporary gender attitudes in the Dominican Republic as well as of the linkages between discourses of masculinity, political power, and Dominican literary production.-- Latin Americanist

Expands the study of the masculinization of power in both Dominican politics and literature that so far had only been hinted at by other critics.-- Sección Bibliográfica

A well-researched enterprise.-- Black Scholar

A well-researched and rigorously historicized contribution to the field of Dominican cultural studies, moving elegantly between cultural and literary analyses. -- Modern Language Review

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