Lova Honorary Membership Award 2022

Lova members during the honorary membership award ceremony of November 2022


Lova’s history


Since more than forty years, Lova connects people who care about feminist anthropology and ethnographic gender studies. Lova was founded in 1979 in the Netherlands, during the second wave of feminism as LOVA, which is the acronym of Landelijk Overleg Vrouwenstudies in de Antropologie. Over the years, the focus on women in anthropology and the anthropology of women transformed into feminist anthroplogy and ethnographic gender studies.

In the 1970s students and scholars of all Dutch universities created groups to initiate and enhance more space for women scholars and gender studies in the anthropology departments. At the end of the decade these local groups joined force to create Lova as a informal platform. For sharing and discussing new theories and personal experiences, the local groups organised study days in a rotating way. In the early 1980s there were four meetings each year, later three or two per year. Each organizing group produced a Newsletter for participants of the local groups as preparation of the meeting; later in the 1980s the Newsletter was used for writing reports of the meetings, sharing news about conferences and activities, and informing about achievements of group members.

When in the early 1990s interest in feminism slowed down among new generations of students, representatives of various local groups initiated in 1994 the creation of a formal national association, with a board. The Newsletter was transformed into a Journal with a separate editorial board and a separate committee was installed to organize Study Days.

Now we have an annual peer-reviewed Lova Journal, the biennial Lova Marjan Rens Master’s Thesis Award (since 2005), the triennial Lova International Conference (since 2008), the annual International Summer/Winter School (since 2012) and the biennial Lova Multimodal Competition (since 2016). Our network gradually expanded outside of the Netherlands and Europe and our activities increasingly take place online.

For a more elaborate account of Lova’s first thirty years within Dutch Feminism, you can read the (Dutch language) article of Gerdien Steenbeek in Dutch, published in October 2006 in the Surinamese daily De Ware Tijd.

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