The sound of kale

The Sound of Kale: 65 Years of Dutch in Cambridge
Het Geluid van Boerenkool: 65 Jaar Nederlands In Cambridge

In 2012 it will be 65 years ago that the teaching of Dutch language and Literature began in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and it has been part of the Faculty’s provision for all those years. From 1947 to 1977 Dr. Peter King, later assisted by a number of language assistants, taught a full Tripos programme with papers in the History of the Dutch Language, in the Medieval Literature, Thought and History of the Low Countries, in the Literature, Thought and History of the Golden Age of the Republic and in the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature, Thought and History of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Students reading other subjects in the Faculty could learn Dutch by, initially, taking the Certificate in Competent Knowledge in Dutch and later in the Certificate and/or the Diploma in Dutch. This programme continued in effect when Mrs Strietman followed professor King, who took up the Chair in the Department of Dutch Studies in the University of Hull. In 1989 Mrs Erna Eagar joined the Section Dutch, then still part of the Department of Other Languages , where she taught most of the Language Papers and a number of Literary Papers as well. In 2007, as the result of a reorganization in the Faculty the Section Dutch merged with the Department of German. On the retirement of Mrs. Strietman in 2014 it seems likely that the Dutch Section will cease to exist, at least in its present form.

These are the bare bones of 65 years of history but we would like to bring together the individuals who have, over the years, given a very special form to a small part of the Faculty: the students, the assistants, the colleagues. We would like to celebrate those 65 years and we hope that as many alumni, assistants and colleagues as possible will be joining us that day.

A provisional programme has been drawn up:

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Friday 14 September 12, 2012

2 pm

Guests can arrive from 2 o’clock onwards and check into their rooms if they have booked accommodation in College.

6.30 pm Welcome and Reception in the Fellows Drawing Room.
7.15 pm Dinner in the Fellows Dining Room

Saturday 15 September

8-9 am Breakfast will be served in the Dome
9.30 am Welcome and Short History of 65 Years of Dutch Teaching in Cambridge (The Long Room)
10.30 am Coffee Break
11 am Translation Workshop led by Tony Parr
12.30 pm Buffet Lunch (The Dome)
2 pm Visit to the Map Room of the University Library
4 pm Tea in the Fellows Drawing Room

The costs of the weekend (accommodation and meals) will be approximately £110. Guests will have to check out by 9 am on Saturday morning but a luggage room will be provided; those who would like to stay an extra night in College are urged to book at the same time as they respond to this invitation.

Further information will follow. Those interested are warmly invited to make contact with Elsa Strietman, Department of German and Dutch, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue Cambridge CB3 9DA or at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge CB3 0DF or email