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

    International Affairs, International Relations, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Peace and Conflict

  • Language Level


  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

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


    This course provides an introductory examination of the experience of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, pointing out the historical-structural nature of both societies, as well as the historic, political, economic, and cultural factors that have influenced relations between the two. Complimentary activities are foreseen, such as visits to a batey and/or to the border region (Dajabón) and the use of videos, among others.


    At the end of the course, the students will have had an opportunity to consider the roots of the contradictory relations of the two nations, characterized by living side by side and the tensions that accompany that.


    Unit 1: The historical milestones that define Dominican-Haitian relations.

    1. Spanish and French settlement on the island of Hispaniola.
    2. The first international treaties. Tolerance and acceptance of the French on the island.
    3. Transferal of the western part of the island to France. Treaty of Basil.
    4. Economic nature of both sides of the island. Shaping of national identity. Haiti: an agro-exporting economy. Spanish Santo Domingo: an economy for local consumption.
    5. Impact of the Haitian Revolution. Characteristics. Causes. The military stamp of Dessalines (after-effects).
    6. The Haitian occupation in the eastern part of Hispaniola (1822-1844).
    7. Dominican independence. Characteristics.
    8. The regimes of Trujillo and Duvalier.

    Unit 2: Economic nature of the two societies. Impact on relations.

    1. Migration and the Haitian work force.
    2. The border. Commercialization and contraband.
    3. Haitian space and rural misery.
    4. Dominican space and its urbanization of poverty.

    Unit 3: Diversity and cultural parallelism.

    1. Racial prejudices in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The phenomenon of Anti-Haitian prejudice. Is there such a thing as Anti-Dominican prejudice?
    2. The religious phenomenon and Dominican-Haitian synchretism. Voodoo and its particularities in the two nations. Gagá.
    3. Haitian painting and its influence in the Dominican cultural market.
    4. The border and the bateyes as cultural spaces. Language, family relations, festivities.
    5. Haitian and Dominican literature. Poetry.
    6. Beliefs, legends, and myths.

    Unit 4: Contradictory analytical perceptions of Dominican-Haitian relations.

    1. Forgetting and historical instrumentalization.
    2. Traditional historiography. Hispanophile currents. The threat syndrome.
    3. Historical-structural reading of the Dominican-Haitian question. Two societies, two cultures, one island, a common history. Two wings of the same bird.
    4. A geopolitical problem?


    1st Partial Exam (Unit I): 25%
    2nd Patial Exam (Units II, III, and IV): 25%
    Final project: 25%
    Participation: 10%
    Assignments, reports in class: 15%
    Total: 100%


    Bautista Betances, A. (1985) El racismo integrante del antihaitianismo dominicano. Año XVII, No. 59. Santo Domingo: Estudios Sociales.

    Balaguer, J. (1983) La isla al revés. Santo Domingo: Editora Corripio.

    Cassá, R. (2000) Historia Social y Económica de la República Dominicana. Primer Tomo. Santo Domingo: Editora Alfa y Omega.

    Cedeño, C. (1992) La nacionalidad de los descendientes de haitianos nacidos en la República Dominicana. En ?La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo?. Santo Domingo: FLACSO.

    Charles, C. (1992) La raza: una categoría significativa en el proceso de
    inserción de los trabajadores haitianos en República Dominicana. En ?La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo?. Santo Domingo: FLACSO.

    Girault, C. (1992) Las relaciones entre la República de Haití y la República Dominicana. Un enfoque geográfico. En ?La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo?. Santo Domingo: FLACSO.

    Lozano, W. (1992) Agricultura e inmigración. La mano de obra haitiana en el mercado de trabajo rural dominicano y Contratos y reclutamiento de braceros: entradas clandestinas o repatriación. En ?La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo?. Santo Domingo: FLACSO.

    Moya Pons, F. (1992) Las tres fronteras: Introducción a la frontera dominico-haitiana. En ?La cuestión haitiana en Santo Domingo?. Santo Domingo: FLACSO.

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.