I had the day off yesterday and the blog of the Wilson Center’s Africa Program informed me that there would be a lecture at GWU on ‘Latin-America-Africa Relations: A Dominican Model?’ by a literature professor on the faculty there.
This seemed like a suitably interesting topic. Unfortunately, the discussion never got to where the lecture title suggested. The Professor, Yvonne Captain-Hidalgo, has recently shifted from her Latin Afro-diaspora literature focus to politics, enrolling in an international policy graduate program. Her presentation resembled one of the classes I’d expect she’d be taking. I got a brief primer on the history of the non-aligned movement, the UN Security Council, and the BRICS.
As far as I could tell, Captain-Hidalgo, had devised her topic in an attempt to ingratiate herself with the hosts of the 7th meeting of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, which was held in the Dominican Republic. However, with the recent news that the Dominican Republic would revoke all claims to citizenship for anyone of Haitian descent whose roots in the country do not predate 1929, Captain-Hidalgo was apparently not willing to discuss her original thesis in the face of such blatant discrimination.
Approaching scholarship in such a manner does not seem to demonstrate much foresight.