The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC EventsHistory Program Events

3/24 – Dutch Oil, Dominican Sugar and the Back Doors of the Caribbean Diaspora, 1910-1970: Margo Groenewoud in Conversation with Chelsea Schields

The development of the oil industries on the Dutch Caribbean islands Curaçao (1918) and Aruba (1928) and the booming sugar industries in the Dominican Republic during the American occupation (1916-1924) triggered a heightened interaction between the islands that would last for decades. The initial intensification involved labor migration from the English and Papiamentu-speaking Dutch islands to the sugar factories of San Pedro the Macoris, and a steady stream of temporary sex workers from the Dominican Republic into the Dutch and Dutch-American oil towns of Curaçao and Aruba.

Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Margo Groenewoud (CUNY Dominican Studies Institute & University of Curaçao) studied the intensified interactions between the Dutch Caribbean and the Dominican Republic in times of occupations, Garveyism, dictatorship and the cold war. In this presentation she shares provisional findings that shed new light on policing and registration, and how this affected agency, belonging and citizenship of so far understudied and invisible groups within the Black diaspora.

The presentation is followed by a conversation led by CUNY Graduate Center History alumnus Dr. Chelsea Schields (University of California, Irvine). Her book Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean will be published by the University of California Press in May 2023.


Event by Center for Latin American Caribbean & Latino Studies In collaboration with CUNY’s Dominican Studies Institute

The Graduate Center, CUNY

March 24, 2023 at 2:30PM ET

Room C-198