Universiteit Leiden

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Kiss Me or Punch Me?

Leiden University student Anousch Khorikian has been awarded the Herman Servotte prize 2012 for her MA thesis ‘“You Gonna Kiss Me or Punch Me?”: Misogynist Nostalgia in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes’.

Anousch Khorikian studied English Language and Culture at Leiden University and received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees cum laude. During her BA programme she also studied at the University of Hull.

In both her BA and MA programme, she specialised in Gender Studies and Feminism. In her MA thesis “You Gonna Kiss Me or Punch Me?”, supervised by dr. Michael Newton, she studied the use of misogyny in the British TV-series Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.

Nostalgia for less politically correct times

Ashes to Ashes is the sequel to Life on Mars. In both series, a police officer, from 2008 and 2006 respectively, ends up in the past (resp. 1981 and 1973). The thesis explores the series’ political incorrectness towards women, and how the series thus engage with 'the noughties' societal nostalgia for less ‘politically correct’ and ‘bureaucratic’ times and with the angst that initiated this.

Anousch Khorikian is currently enrolled in the World Teacher Training Programme as part of the Teacher Training Programme of the Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching (ICLON).

Herman Servotte Prize

The Herman Servotte Prize is awarded biannually for the most outstanding MA thesis on English literature, written in the Netherlands or Belgium. The prize, which includes a monetary component of€ 1,000, is awarded by the Herman Servotte foundation of the KU Leuven. This foundation was established in 2005 in memory of the well-known Leuven professor in English Literature Herman Servotte. Previous Servotte Prize laureates have all obtained their PhD’s by now, which underlines the prize’s role as a quality indicator for talented young scholars of English Literature.
The award ceremony on May 16th in Leuven, Belgium is part of the Servotte Lecture. This year’s lecture is given by Scottish author and stand-up comedian A.L. Kennedy.

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