2019 OSL Awards: The Winners

Groningen | 11 October 2019

The winners of the 2019 OSL Awards are Marieke Winkler and Tom Idema. They received their prize during the annual OSL Research Day in Groningen on October 11, 2019.

Each year, OSL rewards two of its members with an OSL Award for the publication of an excellent scholarly book and article. The Awards are intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of literary studies and to highlight the work of talented scholars at the beginning of their careers. The OSL Awards come with prize money of € 500,- for each award.

Marieke Winkler is assistant professor in Literary Studies at the Open University in Utrecht. Her research mostly focuses on the interaction and mutual exchanges between literature, literary criticism and literary studies. For the OSL Awards, she submitted an article titled ‘Criticism in the History of the Modern Humanities. The Case of Literary Studies in the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Netherlands’, published in the 2018 Fall Issue of the journal History of Humanities (University of Chicago Press).

In the words of the Jury, her article provides a ‘clear and well documented exposition of a neglected historical critical debate situated in the Netherlands,’ but also a ‘well-reflected approach to a highly relevant topic in both past and contemporary humanities, convincingly illustrated through two illuminating case studies.’

Tom Idema is a lecturer in comparative literature at the University of Utrecht. In his book Stages of Transmutation: Science Fiction, Biology, and Environmental Posthumanism, published by Routledge in 2019, he analyzes contemporary works of American science fiction, reading these novels together with biological and philosophical theories of human-environment interaction. By so doing, the book show how the novels offer biocultural stories in which bodies are socially and culturally constructed, while social and cultural systems are ecologically constructed.

Quoting from the Jury’s motivation: ‘Published by a very renowned international publisher (Routledge), this book comprises a cutting-edge study of contemporary science fiction literature in view of the concept of the posthuman and ecocriticism. The close readings of these understudied works of fiction are very solid and provide reflections on our current times and environmental change. The works are placed in the longstanding tradition of the genre in fiction and sometimes even cinema. This is a well written and compelling study, addressing a timely topic from a fresh perspective.’


The jury consisted of Dr Marguérite Corporaal (RU), Dr Monica Jansen (UU) and Dr Florian Lippert (RUG).

Congratulations to Marieke and Tom, on behalf of the jury and the OSL Board!

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