IHLIA Thesis Prize

For the best thesis in the field of LGBTQI+ history

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IHLIA LGBTI Heritage is looking for the best thesis in the field of LGBTQI+ history in Flanders and the Netherlands.

Every year, dozens of students at universities or colleges write a thesis on a subject in the field of lhbti 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.

Eligible for the prize are theses written at a Dutch or Flemish institute for higher education, at university level or higher professional education level (hbo), that received at least an 8 (NL) or 16 (BE) or more. Theses can be submitted in English as well as in Dutch. The thesis must have been written in the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 (between September 2019 and September 2021).

An expert jury will judge the entries on quality and originality.


Afiah Vijlbrief (chair) is a researcher at Rutgers (international centre of expertise on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR))  and focuses on intersectionality and identity issues, including queer people of color. From previous positions at Radar, IDEM Rotterdam, Art1., Movisie and KIS (Knowledge Platform Integration and Society) she has broad specific expertise on sexual and gender diversity. Among other things, Afiah conducts research into trans non-binary people, among other things: Transcending the gender binary: Gender non-binary young adults in Amsterdam.

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.

Alex Bakker 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. This year he started a transgender heritage project and curated the accompanying traveling exhibition.

Jonas Roelens is assistant professor in gender history at Radboud University Nijmegen and Ghent University. 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 winner will receive €750 and will be enabled to edit his/her/their thesis into an article that will be published in the journal Historica (if positively assessed by the editors).

The festive award ceremony will take place at the end of March 2022 as part and conclusion of Queer History Month. Here the nominees and winner will present their thesis.

Entries that meet the criteria can be submitted through the upload module below. You can submit your thesis until the 30th November 2021 in pdf format, accompanied by

  • An information sheet (Word) with your name, e-mail address, study programme, university or research institute, graduation date and thesis supervisor;
  • The anonymized master or research master thesis with page numbers. This means that the theses are stripped of the name of the writer, the university and the name of the assessing lecturer or professor;
  • A summary of approximately 100 words.

Senders will receive an acknowledgement. Submitters have to agree to the inclusion of their thesis in the IHLIA LGBTI Heritage archive

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


Before submitting your thesis, read the thesis and jury regulations:

Thesis and jury regulations

Upload your thesis here

Select your files on your computer via Select Files. You can select multiple files at the same time. All the files you want to send are then listed under Upload files. To send them definitively, click Upload Files.

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