Emilie Sitzia was born in Bourges (France) and grew up in Southwestern France near Angoulême. She was already a bookworm. At 11 she moved to Paris and fell in love with Degas and Manet. She studied 19th century Literature at Université Paris X Nanterre and visited Parisian art galleries and museums on a weekly basis. Some great professors at university recommended she took on a double degree in Art History and Literature (so she could work on texts and images and every way in which they conflict, overlap and connect) … so she did.
While a student, Emilie spent her summers and every short holiday backpacking through Europe, the USA, Turkey, Vietnam and Cambodia. She spent a year as an exchange student in Germany and met a fabulous Finnish man (and an incredible web designer). At the end of the year she moved to Turku (Finland). She worked at Åbo Akademi University and wrote her PhD during long Finnish winter nights.
They then moved to New Zealand where she took up a permanent position at Canterbury University. After 6 years of bliss and 2 years of earthquakes and aftershocks Emilie moved back to Europe with her family. They settled down in charming Maastricht in the Netherlands for 8 years. There Emilie is an Associate Professor at the Department of History. From 2016-2019 she was the director of the Master Arts and Heritage, and from 2020-2021 she was the Research Group director for Arts, Media, Culture. In 2021 she was awarded the prestigious Comenius leadership fellowship to work on ‘Sensory-based education’.
Since 2017 she is also holding the Special Chair Illustration at the University of Amsterdam in the Art History department. There she is the co-director of the Word & Image research group. In 2019 Emilie went to Marseille for a fellowship at the Advanced Research Institute (Iméra).
Her writing and research focuses on 19th century art literature (such as art novels, art criticism and painters’ texts) as well as literary art (paintings, illustrations, portraits of writers, etc.). She also works on interdisciplinary methodologies, museology, history of display, cultural education, participation, (European) cultural identity/ies.
Emilie’s interests include 19th century and modernist art and literature, cultural education, museology, post-punk music, contemporary art, hiking, ice-skating, snorkeling, travelling, and eating chocolate.