Crafting Dominicanidad: Citizenship and Education during the US occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916-1924)
Alexa Rodriguez

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Virginia

Primary Discipline

History of Education
Just over fifty years after the end of Spanish recolonization, the 1916 United States occupation was a critical inflection point in the development of the Dominican nation. The deployment of US troops and installation of the foreign military occupation spurred conversations across the country about Dominican sovereignty and what it meant to be a Dominican citizen. For some, citizenship was about building and expanding the Dominican nation, while others understood their citizenship as tied to their personal rights and responsibilities to their locality. Crafting Dominicanidad (forthcoming with UNC Press) is a transnational and intellectual history that examines how Dominican stakeholders used schools to disseminate notions of Dominican cultural, national, and ethno-racial identity during the US occupation of the Dominican Republic (1916-1924). Throughout the 1916 US occupation, notions of citizenship were being shaped by intense uncertainty around Dominican national sovereignty and influenced by various stakeholders, US officials, Dominican elites, education administrators, teachers, and the rural majority. As a result, the book considers, how were ideas of citizenship impacted by military occupation? What role did schools play in establishing and challenging notions of national belonging in this context? How did Dominican actors disseminate their own notions of Dominican citizenship? Using US Military Government and Dominican Department of Education documents, letters written by concerned parents and community members, as well as political cartoons, periodicals and newspapers from both the United States and Dominican Republic, this book examines how Dominicans living within the country and abroad grappled with the relationship between education and dominicanidad.
About Alexa Rodriguez
Rodríguez, Alexa
Alexa Rodríguez is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia. Her research examines schools, migration, and the formation of racial and national identities in both Latin America and in the United States. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Crafting Dominicanidad (forthcoming with University of North Carolina Press), an intellectual history that examines how Dominicans used public schools to articulate and circulate competing notions of racial, class, and national identity during the early twentieth century. Her work has been published in History of Education Quarterly, Latino Studies, City & State New York and Clio and the Contemporary. Dr. Rodríguez was formerly a Mellon Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Race and Public Education in the South at UVA. Prior to joining UVA, Dr. Rodríguez worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York (CUNY DSI). Dr. Rodríguez completed her Ph.D. in History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, her M.S. Ed. in Educational Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and her B.A. in History and American Studies at Fordham University. Dr. Rodríguez was also a 2020 dissertation fellow for the National Academy of Education and Spencer Foundation.

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