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The 2011 Berkeley Conference in Dutch Literature

International Conference on Colonial and Post-Colonial Connections in Dutch Literature

September 15-17, 2011

University of California, Berkeley

Dutch literature is more than just literature about a tiny piece of land at the estuary of the Rhine. From the Caribbean to Southern Africa, from Southeast Asia to Western Europe, the Dutch language forms a common bond in a literature that was and is deeply marked by intercultural connections. In recent decades, considerable attention has been given to Dutch colonial and post-colonial literature, but the importance of intercultural connections within the Dutch colonial network has been neglected. What were the cultural and literary networks between Batavia, Galle, Nagasaki, and the Cape Colony? How did the slave trade connect authors in Willemstad and Paramaribo with Gorée and Elmina at the African West Coast? How did Jewish communities link Recife in Dutch Brazil to New Amsterdam on the American East Coast? And how did Amsterdam, Leiden or The Hague function as intellectual intermediaries between the Netherlands and its colonies?

This pluricentric perspective on Dutch literature remains relevant in modern times. After the colonial era ended, the Dutch language continued to produce literature that fostered intellectual bonds between the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and Western Europe. These intercontinental contacts were even intensified and grew in diversity when, three centuries after the first Dutchmen ventured out into the wide world, the world came to the Netherlands. Inhabitants of the former colonies first, followed by immigrants and refugees, transformed the Dutch literary landscape to the point that an international perspective on Dutch literature has become a necessity.

Organizing Committee

Jeroen Dewulf | University of California, Berkeley

• Michiel van Kempen | Amsterdam University, the Netherlands

• Olf Praamstra | Leiden University, the Netherlands

• Siegfried Huigen | Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Conference Program

Thursday, Sept. 15:

2-3pm: Meeting at the lobby of the Berkeley City Club Hotel. Guided tour on the UC Berkeley campus by Jeroen Dewulf, Queen Beatrix Professor.

3-5pm: Guided visit to the UC Berkeley Doe Library by James H. Spohrer, Librarian for Berkeley’s Germanic Collections, followed by a visit to the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library, where a selection of Berkeley’s rare books collection dealing with the Dutch colonial expansion will be presented by Anthony Bliss, Berkeley’s Rare Books and Literary Manuscripts Curator.

5-6pm: Coffee break at the Free Speech Café.

6-7pm: Introductory lecture by Dutch-Aruban author Giselle Ecury Steps in History, Paces in Personal Lives: A Post-Colonial Family History from Aruba at the Institute of European Studies. Introduction by Michiel van Kempen (University of Amsterdam).

Friday, Sept. 16:

Faculty Club, Seaborg Room.

9-9.30am: Inauguration of the conference by Jeroen Dewulf (University of California, Berkeley): Colonial and Post-Colonial Connections in Dutch Literature.

Presentations Section 1. Chair Michiel van Kempen.

9.30-10am: Danny L. Noorlander (Georgetown University, Washington D.C.). The Reformed Churches of the Netherlands and the Regulation of Religious Literature in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Atlantic World.

10-10.30am: Barry Stiefel (College of Charleston/Clemson University, SC). A Press of Many Tongues: The Globalization of Dutch Jewish Literature during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

10.30-11am: Coffee Break.

Presentations Section 2. Chair Olf Praamstra.

11-11.30am: Manjusha Kuruppath (Leiden University, the Netherlands). When Vondel Looked Eastwards: A Study of Representation and Information Transfer in Joost van den Vondel’s “Zungchin” (1667).

11.30-12pm: Jacqueline Bel (Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Nationalism and Postcolonial Literature from the Dutch colonies in the Netherlands: Noto Soeroto, Albert Helman, Anton de Kom, and Cola Debrot.

12-2pm: Lunch

Presentations Section 3.

2-2.30pm: Wilma Scheffers (The Hague, the Netherlands). Everything Starts with Knowledge: A Voice of Humanity in Colonial Times. W.R. van Hoëvell 1812-1879.

2.30-3pm: Rudolf Mrázek (University of Michigan). Beneath Literature? Imprisonment, Universal Humanism, and (Post)Colonial Mimesis. The Internment Camp Boven Digoel in New Guinea.

3-3.30pm: Coffee Break.

Presentations Section 4. Chair Siegfried Huigen (Stellenbosch University, South Africa).

3.30-4pm: Michiel van Kempen (University of Amsterdam). Complexities of canonization in former colonies.

4-4.30pm: Olf Praamstra (Leiden University, the Netherlands). A World of Her Own, the Eurasian Way of Living and the Balance Between East and West in Maria Dermoût’s Novel “The Ten Thousand Things”.

4.30-5pm: Pamela Pattynama (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands). A Transnational Perspective on Marion Bloem’s Indo-Dutch Narratives.

Special evening program in the Berkeley City Club – Drawing Room – offered by the Netherlands America University League in California.

7.30pm: Welcoming by Em. Queen Beatrix Professor Johan Snapper (University of California, Berkeley).

7.45pm: Introduction to the speaker by Queen Beatrix Professor Jeroen Dewulf (University of California, Berkeley).

8-9pm: Keynote lecture by Dutch author Adriaan van Dis: Squeezed between Rice and Potato: Personal Reflections on a Dutch (Post-)Colonial Youth.

9–10pm: Wine and Cheese Reception.

Saturday, Sept. 17

Faculty Club Seaborg Room

Presentations Section 5. Chair Olf Praamstra.

9-9.30am: Christine Levecq (Kettering University Flint, MI). The Cultural Hybridity of the Dutch-Ghanaian Minister Jacobus Capitein.

9.30-10am: Adéle Nel and Phil van Schalkwyk (North-West University, South Africa). The Early Cape Colony: Karel Schoeman and/on Relationality.

10-10.30am: Luc Renders (University of Hasselt, Belgium). Better Than the Original: Christianity in Afrikaans Literary Texts by Colored and Black South African Authors.

10.30-11am: Coffee Break

Presentations Section 6. Chair Michiel van Kempen.

11-11.30am: Ena Jansen (Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands). Similar Pasts Remembered: South African and Dutch Caribbean Slavery Novels.

11.30-12pm: Siegfried Huigen (Stellenbosch University, South Africa). New Batavians and Orientalist Philology: Historiography in François Valentyn’s “Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën” (1724-6).

12-12.30pm: Lodewijk Wagenaar (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands). A Theatrical Reflection of Colonial Relations in Dutch Ceylon: The 18th-Century Reports on the Annual Apparition of Cinnamon Peelers with the Dutch Governor in Colombo.

12.30-2.30p: Lunch

Presentations Section 7. Chair Siegfried Huigen.

2.30-3pm: Britt Dams (Ghent University, Belgium). Writing to Comprehend: The Role of Intertextuality in Johannes de Laet’s “Iaerlyck Verhael” on Dutch-Brazil.

3-3.30pm: Paul Hollanders (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands). ‘Animus Revertendi’ versus ‘Animus Manendi’. The Will to Return versus the Will to Stay in Dutch Colonial Literature Applied to Colonists in Late 18th Century Surinam.

3.30-4pm: Hilde Neus (Paramaribo, College of Education). From Belle van Zuylen to Gertrude Stein, building modern literature.

4-4.30pm: Coffee Break

Presentations Section 8. Chair Jeroen Dewulf.

4.30-5pm: Florencia Cornet (University of South Carolina). 21st Century Curaçaoan Women Writers: Re-visiting, De-stabilizing and (Re) imagining the Kurasoleña.

5-5.30pm: Nicole Saffold Maskiell (Cornell University, NY). Bequeathing Bondage: Slave Networks in the Dutch Atlantic.

6-7.30: International premiere of the film on the life of the Dutch-Surinamese writer Edgar Cairo: ‘I Will Die for Your Head’ by Cindy Kerseborn. Introduction by Michiel van Kempen and Cindy Kerseborn. Room Dwinelle 142.

7.30-9pm: Wine and Cheese Reception offered by the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco. Room Dwinelle 370.

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