Dictating Manhood: Refiguring Masculinity in Haitian Literature of Dictatorship, 1968-2010Public Deposited
Dictating Manhood: Refiguring Masculinity in Haitian Literature of Dictatorship, 1968-2010 explores the literary representations of masculinity under dictatorship. Through the works of Marie Vieux Chauvet, René Depestre, Frankétienne, Georges Castera, Kettly Mars and Dany Laferrière, my dissertation examines the effects of dictatorship on Haitian masculinity and assesses whether extreme oppression can be generative of alternative formulations of masculinity, especially with regard to power. For nearly thirty years, from 1957 to 1986, François and Jean-Claude Duvalier imposed a brutal totalitarian dictatorship that privileged tactics of fear, violence, and terror. Through their instrumentalization of terror and violence, the Duvaliers created a new hegemonic masculinity articulated through the nodes of power and domination. Moreover, Duvalierism developed and promoted a masculine identity which fueled itself through the exclusion and subordination of alternative masculinities, reflecting the autophagic reflex of the dictatorial machine which consumes its own resources in order to power itself. My dissertation probes the structure of Duvalierist masculinity and argues that dictatorial literature not only contests dominant discourses on masculinity, but offers a healing space in which to process the trauma of the dictatorship.