Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major Professor

Second Advisor's Name

Heather Russell

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


English, Literature, Central America, Nicaragua, Black Atlantic, Nationalism, space, identity, mestisaje

Date of Defense



This study examines the cultural production and political history of Nicaragua from the 1960s to the early 1990s and interprets Francisco Goldman’s The Ordinary Seaman alongside Central America’s literary boom period, the nation-building project of the revolutionary letrados, and race relations between Nicaragua’s Pacific region and its two autonomous sectors of the Atlantic coast. It is argued that Central American ways of seeing are colored by the interplay between a revolutionary past, the myth of the pure Indio or mestizo, and the erasure of national identity in the US contact zone. Rather than recuperating a Central American identity, it is maintained that exposing the construction of said identity uncovers the hidden blackness and the heterogeneity of the Central American isthmus. Ultimately, the thesis aims at giving visibility to forgotten and ignored Central American narratives, histories, and people, and stresses the significance of studying the region within a literary and black Atlantic perspective.





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