This tribute conference, set to take place in Amsterdam during June 2017, will be in honor of retiring dr Gert Hekma.

Gert Hekma has been paramount to gay and lesbian studies and the fields of sex and gender since his first article on queer studies (flikkerstudies in Dutch) in 1977. He has worked in this emerging field since 1984 at the University of Amsterdam.

Hekma’s work on sexual margin and mainstream has made him a strong critical scholar. This conference will pay tribute to the core issues of his body of work during the more than 30 fruitful years at that post: social histories of pleasures and perversions as encoded through terms, norms, practices, styles, mind sets, discourses and books!

Inspired by radical ideas as pursued by libertine critics marquis de Sade, Dutch novelist de Haan, Michel Foucault and George Mosse among others, Hekma’s research has indicated how we have come a long way from questions of doing (sodomy) to those of identity (homosexual, and now often LGBTQIA), constantly reminding students to move beyond past and present oppressive boundaries, “pushing the barriers, planting seeds, lifting the veil, out of the now..”

Priority issues in sex and gender studies revolve around mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, glorification and demonization.

While the aim of gay and lesbian studies may be a general facilitation of a greater sexual ease, equality and diversity, Hekma’s work has confronted a historical variety of practices that have included public sex, promiscuity, BDSM, genderfuck, solosex and pedophilia with today’s meanderings: questions of identity, sexual orientation & gender identity (‘SOGI’) and the LHBTI+ alphabet soup.

Questions that this conference will discuss:

  • Pleasures and pains: perils of sexual liberations and restrictions
  • Pleasures and concepts: the history of concepts from sodomy to digital sex
  • Pleasures and identities: in- and exclusions created by names and identifications
  • Pleasures and transgressions: hetero-coital normativity and heterosexual transgressions
  • Pleasures and powers: bodily pleasures in various political, ethnic and religious regimes
  • Pleasures and variations: perversions and subversions of homo- and heterosexuality
  • Pleasures and practices: case studies of the variety of pleasures
  • Pleasures and the spatial turn: mental and physical whereabouts – where and how to engage in sexual practices
  • Pleasures and mind games: the role of fantasies in sexualities
  • Pleasures and industries: pornography, sex work and virtual worlds
  • Pleasures and ethics: issues of sex education and intimate citizenship
  • Pleasures and genders: the art of gendering


It is no longer possible to submit a paper for the conference. You are, however, welcome to attend the conference, which is free of charge and without registration.

Room: Doelenzaal

  • University Library

    Singel 425 | 1012 WP Amsterdam
    +31 (0)20 525 2301