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18:30 - 20:00 8 December 2015

“A strong barbaric accent”: America’s Dutch-speaking black community,17th–19th centuries


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Jeroen Dewulf, Director Institute for European Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Although it is estimated that as late as the mid-eighteenth century some sixteen to twenty percent of the slaves in New York and New Jersey spoke (some) Dutch, very little research has been done on America’s Dutch-speaking black community. Despite the paucity of sources, this article attempts to provide an overview of the importance of the Dutch language for the black community from the seventeenth-century colony of New Netherland to nineteenth-century New York and New Jersey. It also raises the question of whether not only Dutch-speaking whites, but also blacks may have played a role in the transmission of Dutch linguistic elements into American English.

The lecture will be co-hosted by the UCL Centre for Low Countries Studies and the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.


Ulrich Tiedau


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