Universiteit Leiden

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Emma de Vries

Guest Researcher

E.M. de Vries MA
+31 71 527 2727

Fields of interest

  • Mail- and Media Art
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Epistolary Theory
  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Digital Materiality


This interdisciplinary project signals and scrutinizes a remarkable phenomenon: today’s simultaneous dis- and reappearance of the letter. While digital communication media have ousted the letter into disuse, in contemporary art and literature this medium is pervasively rehabilitated. Neo-Epistolarity, as I call these emerging practices, combines analogue procedures of paper, pen and postal delivery, with a pronounced engagement with digital culture. Thus these works cannot be interpreted as expressions of technophobia. Instead, my research probes the possibility of conceiving Neo-Epistolarity, rather than as resistance against, as inquiry into media-technological change and its cultural implications.

Curriculum vitae

In Amsterdam, Granada and Leuven I studied Literary Theory, Philosophy, and Cultural Analysis (BA and RMA cum laude). Before joining the Leiden University Center for the Arts in Society as a PhD Researcher, I worked at the philosophy department of Boom Publishers in Amsterdam. I pass the academic year 2015-2016 in Los AngeIes and Cambridge (United States), where I join the Design and Media Arts department at UCLA and metaLAB at Harvard, as a Fulbright Scholar and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Fellow.


  • Fulbright Grant
  • Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Fellowship

Ancillary activities

  • Chair of the LUCAS PhD Council
  • Member of the LUCAS Advisory Board

Guest Researcher

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Moderne Nederlandse L&C

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number B2.01



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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