Johannes Postma, born in Zwagerbosch, the Netherlands, in 1935. Ph.D. from Michigan State University, East Lansing. Professor of History at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Fellow (1 September 1995 – 30 June 1996)
My NIAS project, ‘The Economic Life Line Between Surinam and the Dutch Republic, 1667 1795’, has progressed considerably during my residency. I have collected much new information from the Dutch archives, and I presented four papers on various aspects of the project so that I am now ready to start the writing of a book manuscript, tentatively entitled: “Fruits of Slave Labour; Dutch and North American Commerce with Surinam, 1667 1795”. The large amount of North American shipping data provides the additional opportunity of publishing a source book with the tentative title: “New England Commerce with Surinam during the 18th Century”. In collaboration with several other Dutch historians, I plan to construct a large databank for Dutch shipping in the Atlantic region during the 17th and 18th century, with the Surinam data I collected as a significant component.
As a result of my presence and activities at NIAS, I was able to make several presentations and participate in a number of conferences and workshops. The interdisciplinary group of NIAS scholars stimulated my research and grasp of the project, and collaboration with other Dutch and European historians was greatly facilitated by my presence in the Netherlands.
Several unanticipated research and publishing opportunities developed from my fellowship at NIAS, in addition to progress on my main project. As a result, I am in the process of writing four articles or chapters for books, and I am co-editing a book of conference proceedings for a Dutch publisher.