Book on Dutch-American Studies
Honors Robert Swierenga

Posted June 13, 2000

          HOLLAND -- A book-length collection of essays on
  Dutch-American history has been published in honor of Robert
  P. Swierenga.
          The book, "The Dutch-American Experience:  Essays
  in Honor of Robert P. Swierenga," debuted during a day-long
  conference held in tribute to Swierenga at Hope College on
  Friday, June 9.  Highlights during the conference also
  included a ceremony during which Swierenga was named a
  Knight in the order of the Netherlands Lion, an honor
  bestowed on behalf of the queen of the Netherlands.
          The book's essays offer expanded treatments of the
  presentations made during the conference.  In fact, the book
  inspired the event, according to Larry Wagenaar, who is
  director of the Joint Archives and co-edited the book and
  co-coordinated the conference.
          "The conference came out of the book," Wagenaar
  said.  "We had decided to produce the book to honor Bob, and
  needed an occasion to present it to him as a surprise.  So
  we brought together the authors not only to share summaries
  of their work, but to recognize Bob for his contributions to
  the field of Dutch-American studies."
          Because the book features in-depth treatments of
  the topics highlighted during the conference, Wagenaar
  believes that the volume has scholarly value beyond its
  origins as a way of recognizing a distinguished colleague.
  "It's a book that is a significant contribution to the area
  of Dutch-American studies," he said.
          The book, as did the conference, recognizes
  Swierenga for his extensive contributions in the decades he
  has spent conducting research, publishing and speaking in
  the field of Dutch-American studies.
          "The Dutch-American Experience:  Essays in Honor
  of Robert P. Swierenga" surveys the Dutch immigrant
  experience in the past two centuries, presenting four
  general sections derived from themes found in Swierenga's
  work:  the relationship between worldview and immigration,
  the journey to the United States, the religious setting and
  the role of the individual.
          The book also includes a section celebrating
  Swierenga's scholarly accomplishments.  The book has a total
  of 18 chapters, and features 18 authors.
          Wagenaar and Hans Krabbendam, who is assistant
  director of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, the
  Netherlands, are the book's co-editors.  "The Dutch-American
  Experience:  Essays in Honor of Robert P. Swierenga" is
  published by VU University Press of Amsterdam, the
          The 300-page paperback volume retails for $39.95,
  and is available through the Joint Archives of Holland.
  Located on the ground floor of the Van Wylen Library, the
  archives is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5
  p.m., and can be called at (616) 395-7798.
          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.

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