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Through the concept of “rayano consciousness,” the chapter theorizes the Haitian-Dominican border within the framework of border studies. Encompassing the multiplicity of borders—transnational, interethnic and multilinguistic—that characterize the Dominican experience on and beyond the island, rayano consciousness engages the historical and present awareness of Dominican borders—symbolic, political, and geographical—a process that includes marginalized subjectivities in the imagining and narrations of dominicanidad. The chapter analyzes a series of contemporary performances by David Pérez and Rita Indiana Hernández as well as poems by rayano writer Manuel Rueda.

This chapter analyzes performances by Dominican American artist and writer Josefina Báez in dialogue with twentieth-century Dominican narratives of exile by Juan Bosch and Pedro Vergés. Exploring the various ways in which a poetics of dominicanidad ausente has emerged as a dialectic process of transnational interpellation of the official national narration of dominicanidad solidified during the Trujillo regime, this final chapter demonstrates that marginality becomes a transnational experience for Dominican Americans who are the same poor, black, marginal subjects who have been historically oppressed and exiled from the nation-state. In the diaspora, they find ways to contradict exclusion.

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