What can be learned from the Dutch and their relationship with water
The Rising Tide program consists of a series of lectures, discussions and multimedia events throughout the Fall 2015 semester, October 7 – November 19. Nearly a dozen lectures and discussions are planned along with film screenings, an art exhibition and a concert that all explore the Dutch and their uneasy relationship with water in an attempt to learn what New Jersey can do in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. To better comprehend the Dutch mindset, the program will address related themes such as the Dutch Republic, a former maritime power, and its legacy in New Jersey and New York. The history of human understanding regarding the sea and natural disasters will also be examined from a local and global perspective.
New York-based Dutch composer Johan de Meij discusses, performs and screens some of his signature pieces, including his award-winning Symphony No. 3, Planet Earth.
“Reflections of Holland” is a continuous digital exhibit displaying photos that explore the role of water in Dutch life. The photographer, Peter Siegel, Chairman of MSU’s Anthropology Department, has visited Holland twice in recent years, once as a Fulbright scholar and another as a visiting professor. Each time he spent a semester collaborating and teaching in the Caribbean Research Group, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University.
New Netherland and the Dutch Legacy in New Jersey Oct 12, 2:00 PM
Author and historian Firth Fabend, author of Zion on the Hudson and New Netherland in a Nutshell, recounts the early Dutch settlements of New Netherland located in Northern and Southern New Jersey and discusses their long-term impact on the state.
Author and journalist Tracy Metz, author of Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch, traces the evolution of the Dutch relationship with water. Early on, the sea was perceived as something to be defied in a continuing battle of survival. Time and experience convinced the Netherlands that coexistence made more sense.
Author and journalist Tracy Metz gives an account of one of the most devastating floods in Dutch history, the 1953 North Sea Flood. As a result of that tragedy, Holland set about constructing the network of dams, sluices, dikes and barriers known as the Delta Works.
Pia de Jong, author of Long Days and Fear of Depth, reads from her short story All That is Blue along with other select works. Afterward, the author and Landon Jones (author of Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation) discuss how the sea has influenced her writing as well as Dutch literature in general.
Meiyin Wu, Montclair State University PRI director, looks at the steps taken by New Jersey officials and groups to prepare for the next superstorm and assesses how well they have tackled issues identified three years ago. Afterward, Dr. Wu and Dr. William Thomas (Montclair State University) discuss the sociopolitical implications of her talk.
Escaping the Flood Oct 22, 5:00 PM
Neeraj Vedwan, Montclair State University Anthropology professor, provides a cultural interpretation of the film Escaping the Flood which describes one family’s odyssey as they discover that their Dutch village will be flooded in 50 years. After the screening, there will be a discussion of the film.
Trial By Water: The Sea and the Dutch National Character Oct 26, 6:15 PM
John Roney from Sacred Heart University examines the development and molding of the Dutch national character in response to the challenges posed by their struggle with the sea and the constant threat of flooding.
A panel consisting of Eric Stern (Montclair State University), Henk Ovink (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Daniel Pittman (OMA Design), Mayor Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken) and John Boule (Dewberry) discusses the winning proposal submitted by Dutch firm OMA for redesigning Hoboken’s waterfront to secure the city from flooding and minimize water damage inflicted by a natural disaster.
Dr. Peter Siegel, Montclair State University, describes a recent archaeological excavation of the grounds surrounding the Van Reyper/Bond House on the campus of Montclair State University. The excavation revealed a wealth of artifacts related to the life of a typical Dutch-American family in the Dutch community of Speertown (later known as Upper Montclair).
David Voorhees, Jacob Leisler Institute, will discuss the history of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (which became New York City) and summarize how this port city and the Dutch Republic left a lasting impression on the country that it helped spawn. Dutch values like tolerance, religious freedom and diversity strongly influenced the fledgling nation.
Karel Heijnert (Deltares USA Inc.) explains the advantages of using a natural water barrier to keep the sea in check. The Sand Engine concept is similar to creating a man-made island or offshore peninsula to deflect currents and wash the sand into existing beaches and sand dunes to build up existing flood defenses.
Remembering Holland. Nov 11, 7:00 PM
Henry Luttikhuizen, Calvin College, provides some historical background on the influence of “water” on Dutch art. The film captures the powerful effect of the River Waal on Dutch artists and writers. A discussion will follow.