Clark University has named Professor Willem Klooster as the next Robert H. and Virginia N. Scotland Endowed Chair in History and International Relations. Klooster takes up this chair on June 1.
Klooster has been at Clark for 16 years, starting as an assistant professor of history. He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2006, and he was promoted to professor in 2012. Prior to Clark, he taught at the University of Southern Maine for five years.
Klooster is an internationally known scholar specializing in the history of the Atlantic World during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the last six years, he has published five books (four monographs and one co-edited collection), including “The Dutch Moment: War, Trade, and Settlement in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World” (Cornell University Press, 2016) and “Realm Between Empires: The Second Dutch Atlantic, 1680-1815,” co-authored with Gert Oostindie (Cornell University Press, 2018).
“The Dutch Moment” earned the Hendricks Award, which recognizes the best “book or book-length manuscript relating to any aspect of New Netherland and the Dutch colonial experience in North America up to 1776 and its legacy.” In the book, Klooster explores the rise and fall of Dutch influence on the Atlantic. Through his original interpretation of cargo lists, diaries, and dictionaries, he reveals how the Dutch built their influence through carefully crafted alliances and on the backs of soldiers.
Professor Klooster has served the University in multiple ways, including a three-year term as chair of the History Department, and terms on the Committee on Personnel, the Steering Committee for the Higgins School of the Humanities, and the Undergraduate Academic Board. He regularly teaches courses on the history of the Atlantic World, including the popular Pirates and Smugglers in the Atlantic World. He taught a First-Year Intensive this past fall, titled Revolutions in Europe and the Americas.
Beyond Clark, Klooster has performed extensive professional service including 18 years as co-editor of the Brill Publishers Atlantic World Series, through which 37 volumes have appeared in print, and as editor-in-chief of the “Cambridge History of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions,” which will engage more than 80 authors from Europe and the Americas. He also has served on multiple professional committees including the American Historical Association book award committee and on the advisory board of the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam.
Klooster succeeds Professor Doug Little, who has held the Scotland Chair since its inception in 2010.