Yra van Dijk
Professor of Dutch Literature in a Global Perspective
Yra van Dijk (1970) is full professor in Modern Dutch Literature in a Global Perspective at Leiden University.
Literature, new media and technology
In collaboration with Yasco Horsman I am developing a larger research project on media, technology and Dutch literature 1800-2010. This is the outline of our plans:
New media technologies transform societies: new modes of production, transportation and of selecting, storing and distributing data has a profound influence on the ways in which a society thinks, communicates and organizes itself. Literary texts register these changes in their material form, they reflect on them thematically and they can sometimes be seen to anticipate these transformations. They thus provide fundamental insights in the ways in which media, technology and society are intertwined. Focusing on one techno- cultural sphere (The Netherlands 1830-2010) this project examines the ways in which modern Dutch literature both responds to the changes in the media environment in which it functions, and reflects on the implications of these changes, focusing on what we take to be the four major media technological breakthroughs that altered the Dutch media landscape in modernity: the emergence of mass production- and communication technologies in the nineteenth century; the invention of photography and film in the late nineteenth century; the rise of broadcast media in the mid-twentieth century, and the introduction of networked computers in the late twentieth century. Ultimately we would write a history of Dutch literature against the media-sphere of European modernity.
Literature and New Media
In the course and aftermath of a HERA project on Digital Communities, I published on Poetics in digital literary communities, and more specifically on Dutch digital literature.
My recent focus has moved to the relation between Memory and Digital Culture.
This has resulted in articles on literary digital work, like that of Tonnus Oosterhoff, in which remediation produces and problematizes cultural memory, of WO II particularly. With David Duindam (UvA), I am developing a research project into the possibilities of online (digital) memory.
Memory-Studies and Shoah Literature
Shoah-representations play a role too in my other research and teaching activities, in which I focus on the oeuvre of Dutch jewish author Arnon Grunberg. Questions of memory, ethics and alterity have been addressed in various publications and will be further discussed in my monograph on Grunberg's work (Forthcoming in 2016).
Yra van Dijk (1970) is hoogleraar Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde in Mondiaal Perspectief. Zij schreef haar dissertatie aan de UvA over het typografisch wit in de moderne poezie (Leegte, leegte die ademt, Vantilt, 2006) en was daarna 5 jaar aan de UvA verbonden als UD. Haar belangstelling voor media en materialiteit mondde uit in een onderzoek naar digitale literatuur, onder andere in de context van een Europees HERA onderzoeksproject over creativiteit in online-communities: ‘Electronic Literature as Model for Creativity in Practice’. In dat kader verbleef zij als gastonderzoeker aan de UCSD (2010-2011). Recent onderzoek spitst zich toe op de relatie tussen (digitale) media, technologie en literatuur. Daarnaast richt ze zich op het verband tussen Shoah-Herinnering en contemporaine literatuur, onder meer in haar publicaties over het oeuvre van Arnon Grunberg. De ethische en maatschappelijke functie van de contemporaine roman kwam aan de orde in Reconsidering the Postmodern: European Literature Beyond Relativism. (Met Thomas Vaessens, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011).
Yra van Dijk (1970) is full professor in Modern Dutch Literature in a Global Perspective at Leiden University. Her PhD (University of Amsterdam) on blanks and silences in modern poetry was published as a monograph (2006) and in Word and image. Van Dijk worked in Paris (2000-2004), and at the University of Amsterdam (2006-2013) and was a visiting scholar at UCSD in 2010, studying digital communities for the HERA-project ELMCIP (Poetics, forthcoming) Publications and teaching focus on intertextuality (Draden in het donker, Vantilt 2012), ethics and memory, (Reconsidering the Postmodern: European Literature Beyond Relativism. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011, edited in collaboration with Thomas Vaessens). Shoah-memory and ethics are at the core of the monograph Van Dijk is currently preparing on the work of the German-Dutch author Arnon Grunberg (forthcoming, 2014). Since 2000, she writes reviews and essays for the book section of NRC-Handelsblad.
Teaching in the Dutch department takes a comparative stance, focusing on modern Dutch prose and poetry in a European and global perspective. In the second term of 2013-2014 for example, a course on Shoah representations in art and literature will focus on both Dutch texts and international movies, art and literature. In the first term of 2014-2015, I will teach with Ernst van Alphen on Shoah, memory and trauma in the Research master Literary Studies.
PhD-students Lisanne Snelders and Rik Spanjers (UvA) both focus on representations of memory and conflict too, Inge van der Ven (UU) writes on monumental novels and the archive, whereas Emma de Vries (University Leiden, LUCAS) studies neo-epistolary culture in the digital age. Marije Groos is finishing her dissertation at LUCAS on engagement in the literary journals of the 1950's. I will be happy to talk about thesis- or PhD projects in the fields of contemporary Dutch literature, media, technology and literature and questions of cultural memory, ethics and engagement.
Current projects: PhD-students Lisanne Snelders and Rik Spanjers (UvA) both focus on representations of memory and conflict, whereas Emma de Vries (University Leiden, LUCAS) studies neo-epistolary culture in the digital age.
Marije Groos is finishing her dissertation at LUCAS on engagement in literary journals of the 1950's.
I will gladly talk about thesis- or PhD projects in the fields of Dutch- or digital literature, media, technology and literature and questions of cultural memory, ethics and engagement.
Past: Inge van der Ven (UU, 2015) finished her thesis on The Monumental Novel under supervision of Kiene Brillenburg, Ernst van Alphen and myself.
Grants & Awards
HERA Grant (2010)
- Leegte, leegte die ademt. Het typografisch wit in de moderne poëzie. Nijmegen: Vantilt. 2006.
- ‘Uitblinken in overleven. De erfenis van de Shoah bij Arnon Grunberg’ . In: De wereld als poppenkast. Het leven volgens Arnon Grunberg. Johan Goud (red,). Kampen, 2010.
- Yra van Dijk, ‘Reading the form. The function of typographic blanks in modern poetry’. In: Word and Image. 27 (4), 2011. Pp. 407-415.
- Yra van Dijk, ‘A Performance of Reality. Handwriting and paper in digital literature’. In: Journal of Dutch Literature, Winterissue 2012.
- Thomas Vaessens and Yra van Dijk (eds.), Reconsidering the Postmodern: European Literature Beyond Relativism. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011.
- Yra van Dijk, Maarten De Pourcq en Carl de Strycker (eds): Draden in het donker. Intertekstualiteit in theorie en praktijk. Nijmegen, Vantilt, 2012.
- Don’t lurk too long’. Art and Creativity in a Digital Community’: Forthcoming in Poetics, 2014.
- ‘Picking up the pieces. History and memory in European digital literature’, in: Marcel Cornis- Pope, Literature and Multimedia in late 20th and 21st Century Europe. In the John Benjamins Press Series on Histories of Literatures in European Languages. Forthcoming.
- ‘The margins of bookishness. Paratexts in digital literature’. In: Nadine Desrochers and Daniel Apollon (eds.): Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture, IGI Global. Forthcoming