The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus


Bellarmine historian Eric Roorda was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series on the evening of March 23, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY, on the topic The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus. His talk concluded with him signing his eponymous book.

A specialist in maritime history and the history of the Dominican Republic, Roorda is the author/editor of two new books on the Dominican history: The Dominican Republic Reader: History, Culture, Politics published by Duke University Press and the Historical Dictionary of the Dominican Republic published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2016. His earlier prize winning book The Dictator Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic, 1930-1945 is a classic. He’s also the author of Cuba, America, and the Sea and a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History and the Sea: A Maritime History.

He comes from a seafaring family in Holland. His grandfather was a First Engineer in the Dutch Merchant Marine whose ships were twice sunk during World War I, and his great-grandfather worked on Zuiderzee ferries. He received his BA from the College of William and Mary and his MA and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University where his studies included work in Florence, Italy at the Singleton Center for Advanced European Studies and at the Instituto Universario Europeo.

Prior to joining Bellarmine some 15 years ago he taught with Long Island University’s SEAmester program aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts and spent three year with Williams-Mystic as the post-doctoral Robert G. Albion Fellow. He’s also interested in the role of the cruise industry in U.S. foreign relations and has lectured on seven cruise lines for twenty-three voyages and is Co-Director of the Frank C. Munson Institute for American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport.


Caribbean Languages and Societies | Latin American History | Latina/o Studies