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  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Ysamur Flores-Pena: 2004-05 Faculty Development Grant Report


Report: Discovering the Dominican Republic

The Dominican republic occupies two thirds of the island of La Hispaniola. The other one third of the island is Haiti. This past Summer, thanks to the Otis College of Art and Design Faculty Improvement Grant, I traveled to the Dominican Republic to research issues of African folk religions and issues of identity. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have a history of political and cultural tensions dating back to the nineteenth century. After its emancipation from France, Haiti invaded the Dominican Republic and stayed from 1849 to 1850. This invasion not only brought two countries with two distinct colonial histories to a violent encounter it also allowed for the free exchange of traditions and folk practices.

Dominican folk religious practice or Dominican Vudu is a direct result of the geographical and historical closeness. The pantheon and the practices are very similar to Haitian Vodou yet Dominicans have also added their own flavor to the practice. In this context Haiti is both the invader, source of cheap labor, the boggy man, and sacred land at once.

The following images can provide a glimpse of this fascinating country.

 Columbus Lighthouse

The controversial Colombus Lighthouse built to celebrate the 500th. Anniversary of the encounter and to serve as a mausoleum for Colombus' remains.

 Painted column

Representations of Africa are always associated with music and magic.

 Folk dolls

Dominican folk dolls which use Africa as the source of artistic inspiration and national identity.

 Market

A thriving market that offer the practitioners the hosts of heaven for sale.

 Columbus Monument

The Colombus Monument celebrates the Hispaniola as "The land that Colombus loved the most."

 Taino folk carvings

Taíno (Arawak) inspired folk carvings.

 Meninas

The Meninas, folk carvings that reflects the Dominican concept of being the product of two cultures: Spanish and Arawak. (Africa is not mentioned.)

 Folk healer

The folk practices remain very visible with folk healers offering their services.