Ficciones etnográficas: literatura, ciencias sociales y proyectos nacionales en el Caribe hispano del siglo XIX

Daylet Domínguez

Part of the Novedades/Lançamentos: New Scholarship @ Berkeley Series

September 22, 2021

Daylet Domínguez, "Ficciones etnográficas..."

Event Description

This is the first event in the new series Novedades/Lançamentos: New Scholarship @ Berkeley. In this space, we will highlight new work from UC Berkeley scholars about Latin America and the Caribbean by inviting a faculty member and a graduate student to discuss a recent publication with the author.

Daylet Dominguez’s book, “Ficciones etnográficas: literatura, ciencias sociales y proyectos nacionales en el Caribe hispano del siglo XIX” (Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert, 2021) deals with the importance of literature for the constitution of the social sciences as a modern practice and discourse in the Hispanic insular Caribbean. Prof. Dominguez proposes that anthropology and its neighboring subjects build a place of enunciation, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, in close relationship with travel literature, the painting of customs, and the nineteenth-century novel. At the intersection with these literary genres, the emerging disciplines shaped a large part of their tropology and discursive genealogy. However, once institutionalized, they disavowed its epistemological validity. In the process of textual and institutional differentiation, the social sciences became one of the most effective ways to consolidate national projects, organize the transition to modern citizenships and undermine the postulates of racial and climatic degeneration associated with the region.


Daylet Dominguez is an Associate Professor of Caribbean and Latin American literatures and cultures. Her work focuses on modern travel cultures and costumbrismo; empire, nation, and revolution; slavery, race, and colonialism, among other topics.

Elena Schneider is a historian of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic World. Her research focuses on Cuba and the Caribbean, comparative colonialism and slavery, and the Black Atlantic. 

Pedro Rolón is a Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Literature department and the program in Critical Theory at UC Berkeley. He is interested in post-colonial theory, the history of the senses, poetics, and the relationship between aesthetic experiences and the epistemological fields opened up by poetic, visual, and auditory experiments.