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#DSBC- Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

Join Prof. Remysell Salas as he discusses Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola by Michele Wucker

#DSBC- Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola
#DSBC- Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola

Time & Location

15 ago de 2024, 6:30 p. m.

Zoom

Details:

Purchase the book here. Like two roosters in a fighting arena, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are encircled by barriers of geography and poverty. They co-inhabit the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but their histories are as deeply divided as their cultures: one French-speaking and black, one Spanish-speaking and mulatto. Yet, despite their antagonism, the two countries share a national symbol in the rooster--and a fundamental activity and favorite sport in the cockfight. In this book, Michele Wucker asks: "If the symbols that dominate a culture accurately express a nation's character, what kind of a country draws so heavily on images of cockfighting and roosters, birds bred to be aggressive? What does it mean when not one but two countries that are neighbors choose these symbols? Why do the cocks fight, and why do humans watch and glorify them?" Wucker studies the cockfight ritual in considerable detail, focusing as much on the customs and histories of these two nations as on their contemporary lifestyles and politics. Her well-cited and comprehensive volume also explores the relations of each nation toward the United States, which twice invaded both Haiti (in 1915 and 1994) and the Dominican Republic (in 1916 and 1965) during the twentieth century. Just as the owners of gamecocks contrive battles between their birds as a way of playing out human conflicts, Wucker argues, Haitian and Dominican leaders often stir up nationalist disputes and exaggerate their cultural and racial differences as a way of deflecting other kinds of turmoil. Thus Why the Cocks Fight highlights the factors in Caribbean history that still affect Hispaniola today, including the often contradictory policies of the U.S.

About the facilitator:

Remysell was born and raised in New York City specifically in the Borough of the Bronx. He is a professor for the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies, where he lectures courses on Caribbean politics, the Dominican identity, and history. He is also a devoted community activist.

In the past, he was a Co-Author for the “Dictionary of the Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biographies”-W.E.B Dubois Research Institute at Harvard University. He has worked on the Biden and Harris Presidential Campaign as the Regional Voter Activation Director in Florida. Previously, he represented City Hall as the Manhattan Director for the New York City Mayor’s Office, where he managed initiatives and policies for Northern Manhattan and the Dominican community. Also, he has provided in-depth Policy analysis and advanced solutions for the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in the Division of Strategic Planning and Policy. Further, he helped organize various elections in New York City and abroad with the Office of the Prime Minister of Norway. He received a Master of Philosophy degree in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oslo (in Norway), a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University at Albany – SUNY, and completed a graduate political program from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

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