Universiteit Leiden

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Rosanne van der Voet

University lecturer

Dr. R. van der Voet
+31 70 800 9500

Rosanne van der Voet is a university lecturer at the Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Rosanne van der Voet


I am a Lecturer in Urban Studies and Environmental Humanities at Leiden University. My research spans across various interdisciplinary strands of the blue humanities, with particular focus on nonhuman experience of environmental issues, creative-critical approaches and applied ecocritical analysis of new nature-based water management projects in urban and industrial environments in the Netherlands.

I completed my PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Sheffield in 2023. My project, titled ‘Tentacular Textuality and Anthropocenic Seas: A Medusa Poetics,’ explored what kinds of stories can make tangible the environmental crisis of the oceans, with a particular focus on marine animals’ experience of environmental crisis and the potential of nature-based coastal management projects in the Netherlands to enact a cultural shift to post-anthropocentric thinking. The concept of tangibility refers to literary representation, entailing an embodied, emotional, local and concrete sense of a global problem. While scientific knowledge on the environmental crisis is essential, there is an additional need for something that appeals to the imagination. My project explored this challenge by developing a medusa poetics that adapted the life cycle of jellyfish into a literary structuring device. The jellyfish life cycle breaks down the usual points of birth, life and death of an individual being as they exist in the human imagination and is characterised by a constant process of watery metamorphosis. Commonly viewed as benefiting from global heating, we often forget the vital role that jellyfish play in oceanic ecosystems as both predator and prey. With their stinging tentacles and brainless watery bodies, jellyfish are not easily anthropomorphized, presenting a challenge to the writerly imagination. My thesis explored the otherness of jellyfish as an opportunity to develop innovative writing forms that constantly shift between fictional and nonfictional prose and between prose and poetry, aiming to tell a strange, nonhuman-centric story of the oceanic environmental crisis.


  • I am currently working on a project with ARK Rewilding Nederland that explores storytelling as a means to involve communities in the process of recreating urban natures in the Netherlands, for example the return of tides in the Meuse. Through creative writing workshops and a focus on the wildlife that may return to the city, we invite community members to reflect on what a climate-proof future means to them and how this reframes their relationship to local natures. We are piloting several workshops in Rotterdam this spring.
  • Together with trombonist/musicologist Sebastiaan Kemner I am working on a project on ocean acoustics. This responds to the urgent need to recognize noise pollution as an environmental threat at sea, given many marine animals are killed, injured or disoriented by exposure to anthropogenic noise. Through creative and musical means, we are exploring ways of imagining an acoustic ocean community inclusive of more-than-human interests.


2023 – PhD in Creative Writing, University of Sheffield

2017 – MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment, Bath Spa University

2016 – BA in European Studies: Culture and Literature, University of Amsterdam



2023    ‘The Inexhaustible,’ Journal of Posthumanism, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 1-11

2023    ‘Of Jellyfish, Lichen, and Other More-Than-Human Matter: Ecopoethical Writing Research as Transformative Politics’ (co-author Katharina Maria Kalinowski), Poetry and the Global Climate Crisis: Educational Creative Approaches to Complex Challenges, ed. by Sandra Kleppe, Amatoritsero Ede and Angela Sorby, Routledge (forthcoming autumn 2023)

2021    ‘Experiments in Sandscaping: Liminal Entanglements on the Norfolk and South Holland Coast,” Book 2.0, Vol. 11, Issue 1, pp. 95-106

Creative work

2022    ‘Living as Water,’ Ecozon@, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 218-228

2022    ‘Plastisphere,’ Route 57, The Book of Water, Issue 18, pp. 82-87

2022    ‘Flood,’ Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Issue 00.0, pp. 1-8

2022    ‘Sea-dawn,’ The York Journal, Issue 2, pp. 58-63


2021    'Blue Ecocriticism and the Oceanic Imperative' by Sidney Dobrin, Green Letters, Vol.25, Issue 1, pp. 334-336

Awards and funding

Oct 2021         Semi-finalist GFS Speak Up for Food Security Award ‘Food vs. Climate: Five Stories for Change’

Sep 2020         AHRC two-year doctoral training partnership: White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities

Oct 2019         Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds PhD Scholarship

Oct 2019         Hendrik Muller PhD Scholarship

Sep 2018         Lecture Competition Prize ASLE-UKI – 26 and under category

University lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap

Work address

Schouwburgstraat 2
2511 VA The Hague


No relevant ancillary activities

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