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 organising 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 an autonomous editorial board and a separate committee was installed to organise annual Lova Study Days. The committee did not survive which makes that the Study Days are now organised by varying groups of volunteers.

Now we have the annual peer-reviewed Lova Journal; (nearly) annual Lova Study Days; the biennial Lova Marjan Rens Master’s Thesis Award since 2005; and the (nearly) annual International Summer or Winter School since 2012. In the years of 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017 a Lova International Conference was organised, and also some writing bootcamps as a follow up. From 2016 tot 2022 a biennial Lova Photo/Multimodal Competition was was held. 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, published in October 2006 in the Surinamese daily De Ware Tijd.

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