20th Anniversary AADAS Conference 2015


The board of AADAS is excited to announce that our 20th biennial conference will be held in Albany, New York in conjunction with the New Netherland Institute September 17-19, 2015. These dates coincide with the return of the replica Halve Maen (Half Moon) to Albany.

David Zwart and Henk Aay (current president and vice-president) are serving on a joint program committee with Charles Gehring and Janny Venema of the New Netherland Institute. Local arrangements will be handled by the staff of the NNI with Mary Risseeuw and Lisa Zylstra (current board members) serving as consultants.

The general conference theme is The Dutch in America Across the Centuries: Connections and Comparisons. 

People from the Netherlands have migrated to and have had an impact on North America since the 17th century. The Dutch experience in North America, from the voyage of Henry Hudson to the recent migrations of dairy farmers, stretch across four centuries. Two major scholarly traditions, one focusing on New Netherland and the other on the 19th and 20th century immigration settlement, and culture in the Midwest and beyond have pursued these questions with limited contact. This conference, jointly sponsored by the New Netherland Institute (NNI) and the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies (AADAS), will bring these two scholarly communities together.

The program committee is particularly interested in research and papers that address the following themes. First, how may the entire Dutch-American experience (from 1609 to today) be integrated into a more unified narrative and framework made up of continuing cultural strands (in religion, demography, education, social and economic conditions, etc.)? Second, what were distinguishing qualities of the New Netherland culture encountered by Dutch immigrants coming to the US, beginning in the mid-19th century, more than 170 years after the Dutch surrendered New Netherland to the British? Third, how did New Netherland-derived institutions, such as the Reformed Church in America, interact with arriving and newly arrived Dutch immigrants and their settlements and institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries? Finally, how may the New Netherland Dutch-American experience in the 17th , as well as later centuries, be compared to that of the Dutch-American Midwest, with respect to such issues as assimilation, isolation, impact on society at large, Dutch-American churches and schools, upward mobility, connections to the homeland, festivals of ethnic identity, among others.

Paper proposals on other topics about Dutch in North America will also be considered.

Please submit proposals of about 300 words and a one-page CV by March 1, 2015 to David Zwart at zwartdav@gvsu.edu .