ALCS Essay Prize Winners 2020!

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate ALCS Dutch Essay Prize. We had contributions from a range of disciplines, ranging from Low Countries history and political culture, to translation studies and Dutch and Flemish literature.

The ALCS PG Prize was awarded to Irving Wolters for his enjoyable essay on the relative success of choices translators make, and the influence of other players on their work, with a case study of Marriage/Ordeal by Gerard Walschap translated by Alex Brotherton. The jury deemed the essay scholarly, informative, and a very interesting discussion of some very knotty translation issues.

We had several excellent contenders for the ALCS UG Prize. After some deliberation, the prize was awarded to UCL BA Dutch and French finalist Alice Learmouth for her concise and well-focussed essay on the peculiarities of Dutch political culture. Our panel thought much was achieved in a relatively short essay, which was mature and well-developed. Learmouth discusses the topic from the perspective of pillarization and provides arguments for and against the influence of pillarization on policies towards ethnic minorities in the Netherlands.

Congratulations to Irving Wolters and Alice Learmouth from the whole of the ALCS community! We would also like to thank all other contenders for their contributions and hard work and would like to wish everyone a rewarding summer break.

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!