Monthly Archives: September 2011

Operation Viral

Dominican Yorks are capable of incredible things. On the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a ballroom dance group honored the city of New York with a new rendition of America, The Beautiful. Karina Pasian, a Grammy-nominated artist along with Tuesday’s Children, an organization that provides support and services for the children of 9/11 victims, and Ballroom Basix, a Harlem-based arts charity for children came together as a flash mob that premiered at Union Square this past Sunday. Kids from the inner city arts-in-education program were accompanied by the ballroom dance couples Gemma Arnold & Mechyslav Pavlyuk and Yuliya Blagova & Yuriy Nartov. Lets make this wonderful demonstration of New York resilience and talent go viral!

It’s happening!

Courtesy of the New York Times, a response to one of my sixteen questions:

A Museum of Repression Aims to Shock the Conscience

Read the article here.

Speak!

In keeping with the back-to-school spirit, I offer you the following article:

Nosotros somos dominicanos: Language and social differentiation among Dominicans by Almeida Jacqueline Toribio. 2000.

This article appears in the book: Research on Spanish in the United States: Linguistic Issues and Challenges, A. Roca (ed.), 252-270. Somerville,
MA: Cascadilla Press.

An interesting investigation of social perceptions of Dominican Spanish, this paper demonstrates in part how despite the negative social valuations of our way of speech as compared with other varieties of Spanish, the data shows that we do not abandon nuestro hablar dominicano. Who would’ve thunk that my cibaeña pride could be explained through scholarly research!

Almeida Jacqueline Toribio is a Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Texas at Austin.  Her research interests include language maintenance and identity within the contexts of cultural convergence, particularly speakers of Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. She has also written about el español fronterizo spoken in the border between D.R. and Haiti. She is a co-editor of  The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Code-switching and a special issue of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, among other works of linguistic importance.

As you bask in the final days of summer sun, now is the time get into the seasonal draughts!

School’s in Session

A la clase, que ya es hora de empezar nuestra labor, están haciendo la suya, las abejas en la flor. Y si trabajan las abejas, y acaban en miel su labor, trabajemos en la escuela y haremos algo mejor.

I remember singing this song as a young student attending primary school on the Island. Oh the innocence of childhood! That is of course, until you get excluded from birthday parties and play dates because your parents simplemente no cuajan con el perfil de la urbanización (whatever that means).

For September, I plan on providing some profiles on Dominican Yorks that are uplifting our community by doing amazing things, because lord knows that we just can’t leave it up to Islanders to sing our praises (not that they would anyway).

For starters, I offer you the recently published book titled: Tracing Dominican Identity: The Writings of Pedro Henríquez Ureña by Juan R. Valdez, Ph.D. McMillan, 2011.

Juan R. Valdez is a friend and colleague. The first Dominican to obtain a Doctorate in the area of Hispanic Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center for Doctoral Studies, he has done extensive research on the construction of language and identity in the Dominican Republic. In addition to this publication, he has also conducted important research on the English speakers of Samaná who are descendants of emancipated slaves.

School is officially in session! Let’s not forget those long hours of debriefing and deconstructing the lesson over some birras.