The OSL Award winners of 2018 are Anne-Fleur van de Meer and Alex Rutten. They received their prize during the annual OSL Research Day in Groningen on October 12, 2018.
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.
The jury’s praise
With “‘Ik kan niet genezen van een kwaal die ik niet ken.’ Depressie en intertekstualiteit in Kikker gaat fietsen (2008) van Maarten van Buuren,” Anne-Fleur van der Meer has written a highly accomplished and original article on autobiographical texts on depression. Her article stresses the important point that as literary scholars, we have to withstand the temptation to emphasize the non-fictional content of novels like Maarten van Buuren’s. This temptation runs rampant in society, as is evidenced by talk shows that will invite authors who write novels with autobiographical content, and then fail to address the literary nature of such texts. Van der Meer urges us to consider the literary merits and devices of literary works on depression. She has a masterful grip on the theories she uses. She impressed us with the meticulous and sophisticated nature of her close readings and narratological analyses of the primary source. She then manages to embed these close readings in an extra-literary scientific discourse and social context in convincing ways. This makes her work both technically precise and socially relevant, which is quite an achievement for an early-career literary scholar.
Anne-Fleur van der Meer. “‘Ik kan niet genezen van een kwaal die ik niet ken.’ Depressie en intertekstualiteit in Kikker gaat fietsen (2008) van Maarten van Buuren.” Nederlandse Letterkunde 23.1 (2018): 11-39.
Alex Rutten’s monograph De publieke man: Dr. P.H. Ritter Jr. als cultuurbemiddelaar in het interbellum (Hilversum, 2018) offers a first comprehensive examination of the legacy of (radio) critic, journalist and writer Dr. P.H. Ritter Jr. in a cultural-historical framework. What struck us as extraordinary is the originality of Rutten’s work. Not only in terms of its object of study, as Ritter’s output has never before been systematically researched in an academic study, but also in its innovative contextual and literary-sociological method. Rutten’s analysis includes a whole range of media, organizations, and cultural institutions that have not been traditionally considered part of literary history, such as newspapers, movie theatres, and radio shows. He convincingly argues that an examination of these is not only vital for understanding Ritter’s oeuvre, but for Dutch literary history as a whole.
The jury consisted of prof. dr Hans Bertens (UU), prof. dr Jos Joosten (RU) and dr Inge van de Ven (TU).
Congratulations, Anne-Fleur and Alex, on behalf of the jury and OSL Board!