August/Août 2006

Editorial - Minutes of the annual meeting of CAANS held on May 27, 2006 - News from the Cahpters: Vancouver - AADAS - From the Journals: Flanders - Septentrion - Power and the City in the Netherlandic World

by basil kingstone

The computer chopped off the last part of my editorial in April, about Job Cohen, and since the definition of tolerance at the end of the article I was quoting, seems important to me, I hereby offer it to you in full. Cohen, said the article, understands that the Netherlands is a country composed of minorities who each live up to their “identity raised to the level of an ideal” - while leaving others alone.
In a subsequent issue of Septentrion (reviewed in this newsletter) we learn of the death of two people who, we may say, took advantage of this tolerance to “rebel” in their work: the writer Gerard Reve (who died in April) and the artist Karel Appel (who passed away in May). Long live the country where they could flourish.

MINUTES of the annual meeting of CAANS held in room ACW002 at York University at 2.45 pm on May 27, 2006.

16 people were present, and thus there was a quorum.

1. The minutes of the 2005 meeting were taken as read.

2. Matters arising. None.

3. President’s report. Michiel Horn met recently with the Dutch ambassador in Ottawa and expounded the financial problems which will follow from the loss of our SSHRC grant for the Journal. The ambassador was willing to help us. Of his suggestions, we welcomed that of support for the special Journal issue being planned on the subject “Around Rembrandt.” Other ideas: the ambassador offered to raise money for us from Dutch companies who have a presence in Canada (e.g. ING); and a conference on Dutch studies (not only on language teaching, of which very little is now done in Canada). Timothy Nijhof has experience of the former, having successfully raised money for a conference in Winnipeg. Michiel will remain in touch with the ambassador, with Jan Hesseling the consul general in Toronto (who will soon be posted elsewhere, alas), and with Astrid de Vries, the new consul for culture and trade in Toronto. The report was adopted.

4. Secretary-Treasurer’s report. Like Michiel, Paul pointed out that we have future (but not immediate) financial problems. We ourselves do not have much time to seek out sponsors among business and industry leaders. Our members are becoming seniors and thus our fee income is decreasing. The Newsletter should say more prominently that membership is for the calendar year. He has put the membership list on a spreadsheet and thus can more easily generate “merge file” letters to those who are not paid up.. We could save money by making it the norm to send out Newsletters by e-mail; most members have it by now. The report was adopted.

5. Editor’s report. The regular three issues of the Newsletter have been published in the past year, plus two regular issues of the Journal (fall 2003 and spring 2005) and the book by Donald Sinnema (as the 2004 double Journal issue, co-published with the University of Calgary Press). The report was adopted.

6. Election of officers. Timothy Nijhof was elected Vice-President; Basil Kingstone continues as Editor. Mary Eggermont was given the title of Visiting Speakers Convenor. Herman van Wermeskerken and Sasha Zweers were elected as members at large; John Michielsen has resigned from that position. The other officers remain the same.

7. Next conference. It will be held in Saskatoon on Saturday and Sunday May 26 and 27, 2007. The CFHSS’s theme, again showing their fondness for themes derived from the location of the congress, will be “Bridges: making public knowledge, making knowledge public.”

The meeting adjourned at 4.15 pm.

Basil D. Kingstone,



Op de april bijeenkomst sprak Lisa Vermeulen over haar thesis. Een levendige discussie volgde met de panel leden, Ineke van Praag, Roel en Joan Coert en onze aanwezige leden. Het was duidelijk een onderwerp dat na aan het hart lag. Hieronder volgt de abstract van haar thesis. Als U belangstelling heeft om nadere informatie te krijgen, dan kunt U Lisa e-mailen:

"From the Netherlands to Canada. Immigrant discourses on the transnational experience, race, and space." In the wake of increased emigration from the Netherlands over the last
several years, the aim of this thesis is to examine the main motivating factors that inform current Dutch migration practices to Canada. In this qualitative, multi-sited research comprised of 34
participants, considerable attention is given to examine the popular notions linking this observed increase in emigration to the growing politicization of issues related to immigration and racialization in the Netherlands itself, including the murder of politician Pim Fortuyn and filmmaker Theo van Gogh. A transnational framework is used to address aspects related to the role of the media, the family, the maintenance of ties with the country of origin, the contestation ofthe notion of immigration, and the role of the nation-state in creating differentiated access to immigration. An overview of the motivations that informs the participants' decision to immigrate to Canada reveals that there is a cluster of overlapping reasons, often predicated on the historic notion that Holland is overpopulated.
Motivations include a dislike of the current politicization of issues related to immigrants in Holland; a perceived lack of space and nature; frustration with rules and regulations; and, a perceived negative shift in socio-cultural attitude. In addition, current Dutch migration to Canada exemplifies a migration flow where economic motivators are no longer the centre point informing their decision to migrate, and the participants' migration practices also exemplify new
considerations for how the concept of transmigrants is used in transnational migration studies.

Doeshka Timmer, secretaresse

Their spring 2005 newsletter (vol. 6 no.2) has arrived. Their big news is that they are creating their own website. The second part of the abstracts of the papers given at the 2005 conference on”Dutch Immigrants on the Plains” are in this issue; selected papers will be published in book form shortly. The 2007 conference will be held at Hope College in Holland, MI. Janet Sjaaarde Sheers has meanwhile been compiling, from the Calvin College Heritage Hall Archives, the records of the Dutch who emigrated to Canada after World War II; Dutch parishes sent word to North America that a group were travelling and the church in the place they were moving to, were there to greet them. We read also a brief history of AADAS, three biographical notices on its board members, and news of Heritage Hall and also of the Joint Archives of Holland at Hope College.



We can begin our summary of issue 69 (March - April - May 2006) by talking about Flemish science. The European Space Agency wants to understand space motion sickness (caused by zero gravity or return to normal gravity), and Floris Wuyts of the University of Antwerp is a leading researcher on this question, using prolonged bed rest, spinning chairs and diving planes. Also at the University of Antwerp is Christine van Broeckhoven, a world-famous researcher into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. In an interview she says “I don’t believe that we’re on the brink of developing a drug that can cure” this condition, there is a vast amount still to be learned about it, with an aging population we are seeing an exponential increase of it, and if any topic needs more research now, this is the one.

In the arts, Flemish architects are making their mark worldwide. They have built an office tower in Tirana, a 3 km square administrative capital for South Korea, and an international conference centre in China - not to mention the elegant quadruple tower for the Patent Office in The Hague, a picture of which graces the issue’s cover. At home, there is now a government agency called VAi which works “to awaken the public’s interest in quality architecture.” A variety of art works are cropping up on the Flemish coast again this summer (Jan Fabre’s tortoise at Nieuwpoort was first installed for the same event in 2003). And we should mention also the success of the Flemish rock band dEUS. All of these things are presumably discussed on Cultuurnet Vlaanderen, which exists to let “everyone ... have the opportunity to take part in culture.”

In commerce, we read about Patrick Hoet, designer of eyeglasses worn inter alia by Bill Gates and Elton John, and xandres, which has grown from making well-made trousers to offering a whole range of clothing in their own stores. We have seen in previous issues that Flemish promoters are training eastern European businessmen in how to do business with the European Union; this time the country is Bulgaria, where they are now training trainers.

Oh yes. Whom did the Flemings vote the greatest Belgian of all time? Father Damian, who devoted his life to the lepers on Molokai (Hawaii).

Pop music gets increasing notice in this publication. Issue 70 (June-July-August 2006) has a striking cover photo of Geike Arnaert. the singer with the group Hooverphonic; their style is a combination of mysterious, emotive, bittersweet and forceful. Other creators presented here are Raf Simons, who is proving to be a successful designer at the fashion house of Jil Sander, and the furniture designer Maarten van Severen. His last masterpiece was a building, a “kitchen pavilion” built for Stefan and Kristof Boxy, chefs and caterers who collect contemporary furniture and who knew his work. And the opera houses of Ghent and Antwerp, merged in1988 to form Flanders Opera, is “a hotbed of talent.” Splendid renovations are nearing completion, and in Guy Joosten, the Canadian Robert Carsen and others, the Opera has first-class producers. Incidentally, Pieter Brueghel is being celebrated this summer at various art museums in Brussels.

Business remains a prominent topic too. We read in this issue about Alpro, a company founded to promote soy-based foods in the Third World. Finding no market there, it now imports soy grown in the Third World for its products sold in Europe. Eurinpro plans from scratch and builds to order, worldwide, huge warehouses and distribution centres. Other companies are being spun off from the co-ordinated gene technology research being done at four Flemish universities.


Devant ma fenêtre, comme j’ouvre le nº XXXV, 2, il tombe une pluie battante qui annonce un gros orage. Et voilà justement qu’on y parle du changement du climat et des défis qu’il porte aux Pays-Bas. Pour éviter de grandes inondations fluviales, il faudrait élargir les lits des grandes rivières en leur rendant des terres, mais trop souvent, les riverains n’en veulent rien savoir. De même, la montée de la mer amènera peut-être, au cours du XXIe siècle, la nécessité d’abandonner le nord et le sud-ouest du pays, le rendre à la mer. Un rapport rédigé par des experts à l’Université d’Amsterdam, envisage cette possibilité; il s’appelle “La nouvelle Atlantide.” À ce rythme-là, les éléphants qu’on voit sur la couverture du numéro (ils font partie de l’exposition d’art Beaufort sur les plages flamandes) n’ont pas besoin d’aller vers la mer: elle viendra les rencontrer.

Un deuxième article raconte les mesures qu’on prend déjà. On fait de l’espace aux fleuves en créant des bassins pour capter les crues (mais il faudrait y sacrifier 500 000 hectares). Malgré les dangers, on construit de plus en plus de maisons (de vacances, notamment)au bord de l’eau, mais quelques-unes sont innovatrices, conçues pour flotter au besoin. - Cette section conclut avec un choix de poèmes qui évoquent la terrible inondation de 1953.

Une autre idée qu’on retrouve dans plus d’un article de ce numéro: la réalité n’est pas ce que nous croyons percevoir. C’est un thème majeur du roman le plus récent de Patricia de Martelaere, Het onverwachte antwoord (2004), où six femmes amoureuses du même homme réfléchissent sur leur position. (L’auteure est professeur de philosophie et connaît son Hume, le Tao aussi). - Le projet vidéo Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y de Johan Grimonprez nous dit que ce que nous prenons pour la réalité nous est en fait dicté par les médias. (Un corollaire: les terroristes n’exploitent pas les médias, c’est le contraire, et sans les médias les terroristes n’existeraient pas). Ses vidéos sont des collages à partir d’extraits de films et de vidéos existants, avec ajout de voix off, bruits, sous-titres, tous ces éléments se commentant ou se contredisant.

Joost Conijn, pour sa part, enregistre sur DVD ses tentatives de liberté, de partir pour l’inconnu, par exemple sa randonnée dans une voiture qui brûle le bois comme carburant, qu’il a conduite à travers l’Europe de l’Est à la recherche d’endroits reculés où la vie n’a pas changé. Ou bien il suit de petits enfants qui vivent sur un terrain vague à Amsterdam et qui (n’allant pas à l’école) partent tous les matins à la recherche de l’aventure. - Et puis, pour nous reposer, il y a Paul Neuhuys (1897-1984), poète oublié dont la poésie, légère et sérieuse à la fois, “telle une eau vivifiante, coule et nous rafraîchit.” Tout aussi reposant, des photos des béguinages de Flandre, faites par le cinéaste parisien Patrick Zeyen.

Il y a toujours un écrivain néerlandais à Paris, semble-t-il, qui correspond avec Septentrion. À présent c’est Hugo Brandt Corstius. Il nous parle des bicyclettes, des bibliothèques, et des librairies: “Si vous êtes entré dans deux librairies à Londres ou à New York, vous les avez vues toutes. Ici chaque librairie a son caractère propre, ses propres avantages et désavantages. Je ne cesse pas de découvrir des boutiques spécialisées dans l’un ou l’autre domaine idiot.” Notez le petit trait acerbe bien corstien à la fin de la phrase...


We have received the following notice:

Power and the City in the Netherlandic World
Edited by Wayne te Brake and Wim Klooster

In the absence of a powerful state, how was coercive power established within, over, and by the cities of the Low Countries? Eleven chapters covering the medieval and early modern periods explore this theme from various angles. Some chapters detail symbolic contests or armed struggle, while others focus on industrial control by urban magistrates or their attempts to regulate servants and maintain religious orthodoxy. The essays suggest that the Netherlandic world, in which cities have always loomed large, may have followed a distinctive path of political development that characterized the urban belt of Europe more generally. As such, this volume aims to create new understandings of the place of the Low Countries in European history.

Introduction, Wayne te Brake and Wim Klooster
Keynote Address, Jan de Vries
The Rebellions of Southern Low Countries’ Towns during the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, Kelly DeVries
The Distorted Messages of Peace: Controlled and Uncontrolled Reactions to Propaganda in the Burgundian Low Countries during the Fifteenth Century, Elodie Lecuppre-Desjardin
Beggars and Iconoclasts: The Political Culture of Iconoclasm on the Eve of the Revolt of the Netherlands, Peter Arnade
Confessional Cleansing: Why Amsterdam did not join the Revolt (1572–1578), Henk van Nierop
Power by Construction: Which Cities Where? Problems in Sixteenth Century Timber Supplies, Sawmills, and Labor, Elva Kathleen Lyon
Institutions, Politics, and Economic Policies in Habsburg Holland: The Decline of Gouda’s Brewing Industry, 1510–1568, Richard Yntema
Visible Power? Town Halls and Political Values, Joop de Jong
Stories about the Gallows Field: Power and Laughter in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam, Angela Vanhaelen
The Struggle over the Sabbath in Petrus Stuyvesant’s New Amsterdam, Joyce D. Goodfriend
‘There is no Service Here but My Service!’ Municipal Attempts to Regulate Domestic Servant Behavior in Early Modern Holland, Marybeth Carlson