Dwight TenHuisen

Dwight TenHuisen


  • BA Hope College 1988
  • MA University of Illinois 1991
  • PhD University of Illinois 2005

Professor TenHuisen graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Hope College in 1988 with a BA in Spanish and German.  He spent the junior year of his undergraduate studies in Madrid, Spain, and with a scholarship from Sigma Delta Pi, the national honor society of Spanish, he spent the summer after his senior year in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  He then began graduate studies in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  After earning his MA with specializations in Latin American and German literature from the 19th and 20th centuries, Professor TenHuisen changed his area of focus for his PhD in Comparative Literature to early modern colonial literature in Spanish, German and Portuguese.  As part of his graduate studies, he spent a year at the University of Göttingen improving his German.  Professor TenHuisen joined the faculty in the Calvin College Spanish department in 1996 and completed his PhD in 2005.


Spanish-speaking countries visited
  • Spain: junior year abroad (1986-1987), SIS (2000, 2001, 2008)
  • México: summer between grad school and college (1988)
  • Brazil (not Spanish-speaking, but very relevant to Latin American Studies): interim 2004
  • Singing
  • Studying/living abroad
  • Spending time with family
  • House projects

Academic interests

  • Alterity, identity and religious discourse in early modern colonial literature in Spanish, German, and Portuguese
  • Early modern European colonialism and empire
  • Early modern transatlantic studies
  • Travel literature
Recent activities

Recent grants:

  • Professor TenHuisen participated in two consecutive two-week residential summer workshops as part of the Warwick University-Newberry Library Collaborative Programme. The first workshop was held at the Newberry Library and focused on "European and New World Forms of Knowledge in Colonial Spanish America c. 1520-1800." In addition to cross disciplinary collaboration with well-known scholars of colonial Latin America, the workshop afforded access to the library's collection of early modern resources. The second workshop was held at the University of Warwick and focused on "Belief and Unbelief in the Early Modern Period." Besides the two week interaction with scholars of early modern English and French history, Professor TenHuisen was also chosen to receive the eight-week fellowship from the Mellon Foundation which allowed him to research at the British Library in London and the Bodleian Library in Oxford. This fellowship and access to these libraries allowed him to continue the research that he began in Wolfenbüttel, Germany while on a grant from the Fulbright Commission in 2006-2007. These grants and access to the collections of these libraries have allowed Professor TenHuisen to continue his study of early modern European travel accounts in the New World, as well as their reception, e.g. translations and republications, in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe.

Recent book reviews:

  • Indian Chief as Tragic Hero (Gordon M. Sayre)
  • Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (Merry E. Weisner-Hanks)

Recent conference papers:

  • "Religious Discourse and the Receptions of Cabeza de Vaca, Staden, Léry, and Mendes Pinto." Belief and Unbelief in the Early Modern Period Mellon-Newberry Summer Workshop. Warwick University, United Kingdom.
  • "Teaching Travel Narratives." Annual Conference of Sixteenth Century Society. Minneapolis, MN.
  • "Confessional Geographies of the Early Modern Travel Account from the Americas." 28th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association. Montreal, Canada.
  • "De Bry's Staden and Léry," 2007 Mellon-Warwick Residential Workshop in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the Newberry Library. Chicago, IL.
  • "What Happened to Francis Xavier? A Reexamination of the Seventeenth-Century Translations of Mendes Pinto's Peregrinação." 60th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. Lexington, KY.
  • "Vier Reiseberichte der Frühen Neuzeit und ihre Nachdrucke." Stipendiaten Kolloquium, Herzog August Bibliothek. Wolfenbüttel, Germany

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