IHLIA Thesis Prize

For the best thesis in the field of LGBTQI+ history

Voor Nederlands klik hier

Every year, dozens of students at universities write a thesis on a subject in the field of LGBTQI+ history. Unfortunately, much of this material disappears into the proverbial drawer. That is a pity, of course. To make this research more visible and to reward it, IHLIA presents a biannual thesis prize for the best LGBTQI+ historical thesis in Flanders and the Netherlands.

In 2024, IHLIA LGBTI Heritage will also be looking for the best thesis in the field of LGBTQ+ history in Flanders and the Netherlands.

Eligible for the prize are both English and Dutch theses that:

  • have an LGBTQI+ historical angle
  • have been written at a Dutch or Flemish institute for university education;
  • have been awarded a mark of at least 7,5 (NL) or 15 (BE) or more;
  • were written in the academic years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 (i.e. between September 2021 and September 2023).

A four-member expert jury will judge the entries on quality and originality.

Jury 2024

Alex Bakker (1968) works as a freelance historian and writer, specializing in transgender history.  In 2018 his overview work Transgender in the Netherlands. An extraordinary history  was published.  He wrote the book My false past (2014) about his personal background as a transgender man. Bakker recently published, among other things, about the international connections in transgender issues from 1900-1960 and about the medical history of the VU gender team. In 2021 he started a transgender heritage project and curated the accompanying traveling exhibition.

Mariecke van den Berg is professor by special appointment of Feminism and Christianity at Radboud University in Nijmegen (Catharina Halkes chair) and associate professor of religion and gender at VU University Amsterdam. Her research focuses on public debates on religion, gender and sexuality, for example on the opening of marriage to same-sex couples (‘gay marriage‘) and on religious conversion, such as that of football player Franck Ribéry. In addition, she is engaged in reinterpreting the Christian tradition by developing feminist and queer theology. She is a member of the editorial board of the international peer-reviewed journal Religion & Gender

Geertje Mak is professor of the Political History of Gender at the University of Amsterdam and researcher at the KNAW’s NL-Lab. Since 1988 she has been publishing on cross-border sexes in relation to the idea of gender as identity. Important publications include Male Women. On gender boundaries in the nineteenth century (1997) and Doubting Sex. Inscriptions, Bodies and Selves in Nineteenth Century Hermaphrodite Case Histories (2012). She recently published’The Sex of the Self and Its Ambiguities, 1899–1964’ in The Palgrave Handbook of the History of Human Sciences. She also focuses on colonial history and race in the history of science.

Jonas Roelens is a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, where he teaches gender history. In 2018 he defended his dissertation on the repression and perception of sodomy in the early modern Southern Netherlands. For this, in 2019 he was awarded both the public and jury prizes of the Flemish PhD Cup and the Erik Duverger Prize. He has published extensively in international academic journals and regularly engages in science communication about his research. He is co-author of the book Silent Desire. A history of homosexuality in Belgium (2017).

The author of the winning thesis:

  • receives an amount of €750;
  • will be able to edit his/her/their thesis into an article that will be published in the magazine Historica (provided it is positively assessed by the editors).

The festive award ceremony will take place at the end of March 2024 as part and conclusion of the Queer History Month, where the nominees and winner will present their thesis.


Entries that meet the criteria can now be submitted via the upload module below on this page.

You can submit your thesis until November 30, 2023 in PDF accompanied with:

  • An application form with your name, e-mail address, study programme, university or research institute, date of graduation and thesis supervisor;
  • Provide the anonymised Master’s or Research Master’s thesis with page numbers;
  • A summary of approximately 100 words;
  • Official confirmation of the final grade for the thesis.

Entrants will receive a confirmation of receipt. Feel free to send an e-mail to thea@ihlia.nl if you have not received a confirmation within a few days.

Entrants agree to the inclusion of their thesis in the archive of IHLIA LGBTI Heritage.

> Thesis and jury regulations

If none of the submitted theses meet the quality requirements of the jury, the jury reserves the right not to award a thesis prize.

Edition 2022

In 2022, IHLIA LGBTI Heritage awarded the IHLIA Thesis Prize for the first time. The winner is Robbe Himpe, who researched homosexual fatherhood in Flanders.