Winners of ALCS Essay Prize 2016

Our ALCS reader panel is usually enthusiastic about the undergraduate and postgraduate entries for our annual ALCS Essay Prize, but this year they cracked: instead of one, they awarded two undergraduate prizes, one for a literary paper and one for a linguistic one.

This is a first in the history of our Essay Prize and we are therefore proud to not only announce the winners, but also to publish their work on our website.

Together with the excellent postgraduate paper by Kasper Swerts, the essay prize 2016 is a testimony to the strength and the breadth of Dutch Studies: history, politics, philosophy, literature, linguistics, it is all there.

Thank you to all entrants for their essays and a special thanks for our panel of readers for their hard work and expert verdict!

SchaefferUndergraduate Winner: Mathias Schäffer (Sheffield), ‘The presence of the absent mother in Gerbrand Bakker’s Perenbomen bloeien wit

Jury’s comments:
‘A very interesting topic and a good amount of research has gone into the essay. It is a well-structured, very readable essay that takes account of the reader and provides enough information in order for the reader to understand the issues fully.’

Postgraduate Winner: Kasper Swerts (PhD Edinburgh),
‘A Flemish Nozdormu? Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Hendrik Jozef Elias’

Jury’s comments:
‘Swerts argues convincingly that in his political choices the Flemish politician and nationalist historian Hendrik Elias was guided – or misguided – by his highly particular philosophy of history. A sophisticated essay and an excellent read.’

Kasper Swerts has been invited to submit his essay for publication in Dutch Crossing.

BobbyjonesUndergraduate Runner Up: Robert Jones (Sheffield), ‘Tweetalig onderwijs: Effective education or pointless pedagogy?’

Jury’s comments:
‘This is a well researched essay with a clear academic approach to the topic. Interesting issues are discussed in a clear and balanced way. Excellent use of background literature.’

ALCS Essay Prize 2015

Our ALCS expert panel of readers was delighted with yet another impressive haul of essay entries for the yearly ALCS Essay prize. This year the undergraduate entries covered subjects such as literary translation; Verkavelingsvlaams; language policy in the Dutch East-Indies; literary representation of Nazi concentration camps; WOII Belgian collaborators as represented in the works of Erwin Mortier; representation of religion and authority in literature, to name but a few.

Orla RandlesAfter extensive deliberation the panel decided on one linguistic and one literary winner. The Undergraduate Prize was awarded to Orla Randles (Sheffield, BA German with Dutch, image right) for her excellent essay ‘Straattaal: A Threat to Standard Dutch?’

The postgraduate entries were again of a high standard but the clear winner was Ruth Clemens (UCL, MA Comparative Literature) for her impressive essay ‘Becoming-Imperceptible in Cees Nooteboom’s The Following Story and Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman’. The full essay can be read on Ruth Clemens is now pursuing a PhD in comparative literature at Leeds Trinity University.

ALCS Essay Prize 2014

On 18 July 2014 the ALCS review committee awarded the 2014 ALCS essay prize for the best undergraduate entry. The winner receives £100 and a year’s membership to Dutch Crossing, our academic Journal.

ALCSprize Joel BakerThis year’s winner is Joel Baker. He wrote an excellent essay on ‘Fretz 2025: Towards a New Relationship Between Art and Politics’.

Joel is a final year undergraduate student at the University of Sheffield.



ALCS Essay Prize 2013

On 17 January 2014 the ALCS review committee awarded the 2013 ALCS essay prizes for the best undergraduadte and postgraduate entry. Both winners receive £100 and a year’s membership to Dutch Crossing, our academic Journal.

The undergraduate prize was awarded to Aimée Hardy for her essay ‘Pim Fortuyn: de man, zijn politiek en zijn erfenis.’ The essay review committee was impressed by this entry, particularly as it was written in excellent Dutch.

Aimée Hardy graduated in June 2013 with a BAML Honours Degrees in German, Dutch and French at the University of Sheffield. After taking a year out working in a secondary school as a language assistant she will start on her MA in Dutch Studies at UCL in September 2014.

Cyd Sturgess ALCS prize winnerThe 2013 postgraduate prize went to Cydney Sturgess for her essay ‘Double Dutch: A Post-Jungian Rereading of Harry Mulisch’s Twee vrouwen’. The reviewers felt that it was a very well written piece of work and that the approach to the subject was academically rigorous.

After graduating with a BA in German with Dutch and an MA in Germanic Studies at the University of Sheffield , Cydney was awarded a Wolfson scholarship and she is currently working in on her PhD-thesis on ‘Lesbian networks in early 20th century Germany and the Netherlands’, also in Sheffield.

Our warmest congratulations to both winners!

ALCS Essay Prize 2012

The committee of the ALCS are delighted to congratulate Leonie Bockelmann and Jenny Watson on their winning essays in the ALCS Essay Prize for 2012. The two winners each receive £100 and one year’s free membership of the ALCS, which includes a subscription for 2012 to our award-winning academic journal Dutch Crossing, including access to the complete online archive of Dutch Crossing via the publisher’s website.

In the undergraduate category, Leonie Bockelmann, from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, drew on a wide variety of sources for her stimulating essay on the concept of painting ‘naar het leven’ in relation to Jacob de Gheyn’s botanical drawings: “Naer het leven” and the visualisation of knowledge in an album of flower, insect and animal drawings by Jacob de Gheyn II.

In the postgraduate / early career researcher category, our winner was Jenny Watson, from the University of Sheffield, with her essay on “Deaf Ears and an Accustomed Music: Colonial Criticism in Louis Couperus’ The Hidden Force.” Although Couperus’ De stille kracht conforms to the genre of the supernatural thriller (what Patrick Brantlinger called the “imperial Gothic” genre), it does not contain the positive message about colonialism that was customary in these works.

As ever, it was enjoyable to read entries from across the range of disciplines, and we look forward to what next year’s entries will bring.

Once again, hearty congratulations to both our winners. The deadline for entries each year is September 30th, and essays on any area of Dutch/Low Countries studies are eligible.