Through a discussion of Dixa Ramírez’s Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, from the 19th Century to the Present (2018), this essay highlights and expands on the ways Dominican and Dominican American women have negotiated, resisted, and refused their historical obliteration in Western imaginaries. Three questions guide the commentary: How have Afro-Dominican women been ghosted from national building projects in both the Dominican Republic and the United States? How have Afro-Dominican women writers and performers refused traditional understandings of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and nationality? How do the works of these women remind us that silences, omissions, and exclusions from dominant narratives are irresolute forms of violence executed and perpetuated by Western powers and constantly replicated by the Dominican intellectual and economic elite?

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