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Dutch American History Conference Will
Also Celebrate Scholar's Career

Posted May 2, 2000

          HOLLAND -- An all-day conference at Hope College
  on Dutch-American history will also celebrate the career of
  the "dean" of studies in the field.
          The event, "The Dutch American Experience:  A
  Celebration of the Career of Robert P. Swierenga," will be
  held at Hope on Friday, June 9, in the Maas Center
  auditorium.
          The conference will feature a series of
  presentations suited to a general audience by scholars from
  throughout the United States and the Netherlands.  The
  proceedings will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with
  additional options including an 8 a.m. breakfast, a lunch
  and a 7 p.m. tribute banquet.
          The event recognizes Swierenga for his extensive
  contributions in the decades he has spent conducting
  research, publishing and speaking in the field of Dutch
  American studies.  It is timed to coincide with a personal
  milestone:  he turns 65 on Saturday, June 10.
          "Robert Swierenga is the most published scholar in
  the field of Dutch American studies that we have today,"
  said conference co-coordinator Larry J. Wagenaar, who is
  director of the Joint Archives of Holland and was one of
  Swierenga's graduate students at Kent State University in
  Ohio.  "His extensive contributions have often led
  colleagues to call him the 'Dean of Dutch American
  Studies.'"
          "Professor Hans Krabbendam and I began talking
  about a way in which we could honor Dr. Swierenga in 1998,
  realizing that his 65th birthday would be an excellent time
  to gather colleagues and former students together to
  celebrate all he has done both personally and
  professionally," he said.  "Since that time we have been
  contacting many people to ask them to be a part of our
  celebration."
          Swierenga will deliver the event's keynote
  address, "The Third Generation and Dutch American Studies,
  1960s-1990s," reflecting on how study in the field as
  changed during his career.
          The conference will also feature 10 presentations
  within four general categories:  "Immigrant Ideology,"
  "Mobility," "Dutch American Religion" and "Portrait
  Gallery."  Topics range from "Emigration as Protest?
  Opinions About the Relation Between Church and State as a
  Factor in the Dutch Emigration Movement," to "America's Most
  Popular Dutchman:  Hendrik Willem van Loon" and "A Frisian
  in the American City:  Pieter Ypes Groustra Family in
  Chicago 1881-1946."
          In addition, the event's opening remarks and the
  dinner will feature reflections on Swierenga's work in the
  field.
          Swierenga has been at Hope since 1996, serving as
  a senior research fellow with the college's A.C. Van Raalte
  Institute and as an adjunct professor of history.  He had
  previously been a member of the history faculty at Kent
  State, where he served from 1968 until retiring in 1996.  He
  has written or edited more than a dozen books, and has
  written numerous journal articles and lectured widely on
  issues related to the Dutch in America.
          He holds his bachelor's degree from Calvin
  College, where he was an assistant professor from 1965 to
  1968, and his master's from Northwestern University and his
  doctorate from the University of Iowa.
          "The Dutch American Experience" is co-sponsored by
  the Joint Archives of Holland, the A.C. Van Raalte Institute
  and the Roosevelt Study Center.
          Located at Hope and open to the general public for
  research, the Joint Archives of Holland houses the archival
  collections of the Holland Museum, Western Theological
  Seminary and Hope as well as others that contract for
  archival services.  Also housed at Hope, the A.C. Van Raalte
  Institute conducts research and study in the field of Dutch
  American studies, particularly the mid-19th century
  immigration to West Michigan under the leadership of A.C.
  Van Raalte.  Located in Middleburg in the Netherlands, the
  Roosevelt Study Center is a research institute focusing on
  20th century American history and European-American
  relations.
          Admission to the conference is $35 for an
  individual or couple, with an additional charge for the
  meals.  For an additional fee, those attending from out of
  town may also arrange to stay on-campus.
          Additional information may be obtained by calling
  the Joint Archives of Holland at (616) 395-7798.
  -30-
  


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