Fotograaf: Joy Bomer

mw. N. (Nadia) de Vries MA

  • Amsterdam University College
    Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Bezoekadres
    Spuistraat 134  
  • Postadres:
    Science Park  113
    1098 XG  Amsterdam


The Physical Corpse in Virtual Space
2016 - 2020, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Supervisors: Prof. Ellen Rutten and Prof. Esther Peeren

The human corpse has been converted to virtual imagery since the invention of the daguerreotype in the early nineteenth century, a technology that, in turn, gave rise to post-mortem photography as a common social practice. Almost two hundred years later, the human corpse is still transposed to the realm of the virtual, only now through the aid of social media networks and other web-based platforms. Other than the post-mortem photographs of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, however, these contemporary depictions of the human corpse are not reserved for the intimate spheres of family albums. Rather, the twenty-first century corpse is widely shared, viewed, and appropriated for various aesthetic and affective purposes. In the online world, the human corpse is both sensational marvel and political instigator; shock site fodder and activist tool. Considering these depictions of the human corpse and their shift from private object to public property, this research project investigates the ethical implications of the human corpse’s virtualization. Through an analysis of various case studies from social media history (both fictional and lived), it seeks to outline how the sociocultural perception of the dead human body is altered once it is moved to a virtual space.



- Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA)

- Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS)

- American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)

- Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP)

- Centre for Aliative Research (CenAR)

- Death Online Research Network (DORN)



Dark Hour (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2018)



  • de Vries, N. (participant) (8-12-2017 - 9-12-2017). Encountering Corpses, Manchester, United Kingdom (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (8-11-2017 - 9-11-2017). Challenging Corporealities, Barcelona, Spain (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (30-10-2017 - 1-11-2017). Digital Existence, Sigtuna, Sweden (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (6-9-2017 - 9-9-2017). Death, Dying and Disposal, Preston, United Kingdom (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (8-7-2017). ACLA Annual Meeting 2017: Radical Feminism and the Young Girl, Utrecht, Netherlands. Paper presentation: "Sullen Girls: The Eroticization of Female Depression." (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (12-5-2017). Death and the Maiden: Representations of Women and Death in Literature and Culture, Łódź, Poland. Paper presentation: "Girl, Intermediated: Girlhood as Purgatorial Space in Huyghe & Parreno's No Ghost Just a Shell." (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (30-3-2017). ASCA Annual Workshop 2017: Unnecessary, Unwanted and Uncalled-for, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Paper presentation: "Tender Archives: The Sentimental Preservation of Online Content." (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
  • de Vries, N. (participant) (3-9-2016). Death and Culture 2016, York, United Kingdom. Paper presentation: "I Will Love U 4-Ever: The Poetics of the YouTube Death Narrative." (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
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  • University of Amsterdam
    PhD student

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