Please note:
The application period for the 2023 Gender Studies Prize starts now!
Applications are due by February 1, 2024!

Gender Studies Prize

To promote the visibility of gender studies and queer studies at the University of Bonn, the Gender Equality Office awards an annual prize for outstanding final theses and doctoral dissertations drawing on the methods and topics of these disciplines.

Ein pinkfarbenes Megafon vor gelbem Hintergrund mit einer weißen Sprechblase. Leicht versetzt auf der Sprachblase steht: Gender Studies Prize
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Gender Studies Prize 2023

The application period for the 2023 Gender Studies Prize starts now! Learn more about the prize and how to enter your thesis below.

About the Prize

The Gender Equality Office awards the Gender Studies Prize for outstanding final theses contributing to the fields of gender and/or queer studies in terms of content and/or methodology.

Graduates and doctoral candidates of all faculties and disciplines at the University of Bonn are eligible to apply.

You must have completed your degree and the thesis in question at the University of Bonn within the past year. For the 2023 Gender Studies Prize, this means you must have attained your degree after February 1, 2023

Eligible Theses

The thesis should have been graded "good" at the least. The following criteria are given particular consideration in choosing the winners:

  • Originality
  • Relevance of the topic for gender and/or queer studies
  • Demonstration of skills (application and critique) in methodology and theory 
  • Clear and coherent argument 
  • Precision in use of language and (re)presentation

The winners are selected by a jury made up of University of Bonn researchers.

Application

Submissions must include a copy of the thesis in PDF format, an abstract, a letter of endorsement from the first reviewer, the certificate of graduation or an equivalent certificate from the Examination Office, and a CV in table form.

Please send your complete application via e-mail to the Gender Equality Office.

Only applications which have reached the Gender Equality Office by February 1, 2024 will be considered.

Award Ceremony

Winners are awarded €500 for the best bachelor’s thesis, €700 for other final theses and €1,000 for the best doctoral thesis. The prize is funded by the Gender Equality Office. No one is entitled to winning the prize if the only theses submitted in any one category do not meet the criteria stated above.

The award ceremony for the Gender Studies Prize 2022 will be taking place in the spring of 2023.

Abstracts of the winning theses will be published (includign the authors' names) on the Gender Equality Office's website. 


The Gender Studies Prize Winners 2021

Der Gender Studies Prize wird für herausragende Abschlussarbeiten und Dissertationen vergeben. - V.l.n.r.: Prof. Dr. Andreas Krebs, Marina Lynn Krambrich, Benedikt Johannes Gnosa, Joline Sophie Kretschmer und Prof. Dr. Sabine Sielke.
© Uni Bonn/Barbara Frommann. From left to right: Prof. Dr. Andreas Krebs, Marina Lynn Krambrich, Benedikt Johannes Gnosa, Joline Sophie Kretschmer und Prof. Dr. Sabine Sielke

An award ceremony was held at Fritz' Café 2go in the University main building on April 29, 2022. The Gender Studies Prize 2021 was awarded to the authors of three bachelor's theses:

  • Joline Kretschmer for her Philosophy thesis "Gender as deeply diverse. How to dissolve the gender category dilemma."
  • Benedikt Johannes Gnosa for his German Language and Literature thesis "Vestimentärer Geschlechterwechsel – Die verkleidete Herzogin Alheyt und die Grenzen der Männlichkeit im Herzog Herpin" ("Sartorial Gender Switch – Duchess Alheyt in Disguise and the Limits of Masculinity in Herzog Herpin")
  • Marina Krambrich for her Philosophy thesis "Das Spiel der Philosophie. Eine empirische Untersuchung geschlechtsspezifischer Narrative von der akademischen Philosophie unter Studierenden in Bonn" ("The Game of Philosophy: an Empirical Investigation of Gender-Specific Narratives of Academic Philosophy amongst the Bonn Student Body”)

Abstracts of the Winning Theses 

Joline Kretschmer
Gender as deeply diverse. How to dissolve the gender category dilemma

What “is” a woman (a man; a non-binary person, etc.)? If one tries to answer this question, one quickly gets into a dilemma. On the one hand, feminist philosophers want to refrain from formulating gender categories at all in order not to fall into gender solipsism – the tendency to consider a small group of privileged people as representative of the entire category, excluding the less privileged people in the process. On the other hand, there is a need for gender categories within feminist philosophy in order to be able to address the structures of oppression they entail. In the course of my thesis, I will discuss this dilemma in more detail, examining its origins and some attempts by various philosophers (including among others Elisabeth Spelman, Catharine MacKinnon, Naomi Zack, Talia Mai Bettcher, Sally Haslanger and Katharine Jenkins) to find a way to dissolve it. My aim, however, is not to single out any particular account as the correct one, but rather to show which methodological approaches are generally advisable when one attempts to define gender categories without running into the aforementioned dilemma.

Benedikt Johannes Gnosa
Sartorial Gender Switch – Duchess Alheyt in Disguise and the Limits of Masculinity in Herzog Herpin

Scenes of disguise in which, in which characters of one gender pass for another, are particularly suited for analyzing the binary construction of gender roles for noble characters in medieval German literature. Cross-dressing requires these characters not only to put on different clothes, but also to take on the modes of behavior associated with the other gender. This thesis" uses the term ‘Travestie’ (‘transvestism’) to bring together concepts from gender theory and gender studies with questions concerning the interdependence of clothing and identity. The subject of analysis is the character of Duchess Alheyt in Herzog Herpin, a text from the first half of the 15th century. The elaborate description of her gender switching demonstrates how this kind of ‘transvestism’ can be narrated. Separated from her husband against her will, she spends much of the plot in male disguise. Within the narrative, Alheyt’s ‘male’ ideality functions as a mirror for a masculine ideal of knighthood. Whether appearing as a woman or as a man, her behavior emphatically does not serve to gain new agency for noble women, but rather to highlight the inadequacies of the text’s male characters. This narrative of female ‘transvestism’ is used explicitly to delineate the limits of masculinity and to define its ideal form.

Marina Krambrich
The Game of Philosophy: an Empirical Investigation of Gender-Specific Narratives of Academic Philosophy amongst the Bonn Student Body

This thesis focuses on gender-specific disparities in students’ narratives and concepts of the practice of academic philosophy in Bonn. These are intended to provide possible explanations for the underrepresentation of people read as female within philosophy as an academic discipline. The objective is to investigate how certain modes of behavior, structures and narratives become established among the student body, how these differ by gender and how this leads to an imbalance in academic success. To answer this question, I draw on seven qualitative interviews I conducted with students of different genders and evaluate the results according to the principles of empirical social research. For theoretical background, I employ the concepts of habitus and symbolic capital according to Pierre Bourdieu, as well as the concept of epistemic violence as used in feminist theory. As the empirical work shows, the game of philosophy has different outcomes depending on the presumed gender of the student: the central theme I find in women’s narratives is one of striving for visibility, recognition, success and a professional perspective. This stands in contrast to the men, who do not (have to) have recourse to this theme. I consider this finding relevant for the central problem of the underrepresentation of people read as female in German academic philosophy; it demonstrates that measures must be taken to increase gender equality in philosophy degree programs and in the philosophy classroom.


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