Dominican-Haitian Relations

Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Dominican-Haitian Relations

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra

  • Location

    Santiago, Dominican Republic

  • Area of Study

    History, International Economics, Latin American Studies, Race Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Dominican-Haitian Relations


    This course will examine, in an introductory form, the reality of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, emphasizing the historical structure of both societies as well as historical, political, economic and cultural factors that have influenced the relations of both nations.  There will also be complementary activities, such as a visit to a batey and/or the border region (Dajabón) and viewing videos, among others.


    By the end of the course, the students will understand the roots that explain the contradictory relations of both nations, as characterized by their simultaneous cooperative and tension-filled nature.


    Unit I:  Historic landmarks that established Dominican-Haitian relations.
    1.1    Spanish and French establishment on the island of Hispaniola
    1.2    The first international treaties; tolerance and acceptance of the French on the island
    1.3    Cession of the western part of the island to France in the Treaty of Basilea
    1.4    Explanations of the natural economy of both parts of the island; nation making; Haiti, an exporting nation; Spanish Santo Domingo, a sustenance economy
    1.5    Impact of the Haitian Revolution; characteristics; causes; the military stamp of Dessalines (after effects of the impact)
    1.6    The Haitian occupation of the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, 1822-1844
    1.7     Dominican independence; characteristics
    1.8    The regimes of Trujillo and Duvalier

    *If English is not the student’s native language.
    Unit II:  Natural economy of the two societies.  Impact on their relations.
    2.1     Migrations and Haitian manual labor
    2.2     The border; commercialization and contraband
    2.3     The Haitian space and rural misery
    2.4     The Dominican space and its urbanization of the poor

    Unit III:  Diversity and cultural parallelism
    3.1     Racial prejudices in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; the phenomenon of
     antihaitianism; does antidominicanism exist?
    3.2     The religious phenomenon and Dominican-Haitian syncretism; Vodún and its
           special features in both nations; Ga-gá
    3.3     Haitian painting and its influence in the Dominican cultural market
    3.4     The border and the bateys as cultural spaces; the language/family relations/
    3.5     Haitian and Dominican literature; poetry
    3.6     Beliefs, legends and myths

    Unit IV:  Contradictory analytical perceptions of Dominican-Haitian relations.
    4.1     “Unmemorizing” and historical instrumentilization
    4.2     Traditional historiography; Hispanic-oriented concepts; the threat syndrome
    4.3     Reading the historic structure of the Dominican-Haitian question; two societies,
     two cultures, one island, one common history; two wings of the same bird
    4.4     A geo-political problem?

    Evaluation Units to evaluate Percentage
    1st Partial Exam Unit I 25%
    2nd Partial Exam Units II, III, IV 25%
    Final Work   25%
    Participation   10%
    Homework, class input   15%
    Total   100%


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.


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