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Ms Minke Jonk 

Postgraduate research student

Ms Minke Jonk's photo

Ms Minke Jonk is Postgraduate research student within English at the University of Southampton.

I started my BA degree in English language and culture at University of Leiden in 2008. I was selected for the Harting exchange programme during my second year and subsequently spent the third year of my undergraduate at the University of Southampton. At Southampton, the module ‘Literature of Islands and Oceans' boosted my interest in maritime literature, which since then has remained a great source of inspiration.  I completed my undergraduate degree in 2011, writing my dissertation on ‘The representation of streets and the city in late-Victorian literature' (supervised by Dr Michael Newton).

I also obtained my MA degree in English Language and Culture (with a specialisation in translation between Dutch and English) from the University of Leiden. In my dissertation ‘Words are all that we can translate: Untranslatability and Moby Dick' (supervised by Katinka Zeven MA and Dr Evert-Jan van Leeuwen), I explored issues of untranslatability by comparing two translations of Moby Dick with the original.

Research interests

I have always been interested in nineteenth-century literature and maritime narratives have held a great interest for me since studying Moby Dick during my undergraduate degree. This fascination resulted in my masters' dissertation on untranslatability issues in Moby Dick. My thesis, ‘‘I think I see the ghost of that Flying Dutchman in every ray of moonlight': nineteenth-century maritime ghost stories', is supervised by Dr Stephanie Jones and Professor John McGavin and combines my interest in both nineteenth-century supernatural literature and maritime narratives. I am studying the ship as a haunted space and place this research in a wider context of haunted literature in the nineteenth century and nostalgia for the Empire.

Currently I am focusing on late-nineteenth-century narratives by Frederick Marryat, William Clark Russell, William Hope Hodgson and Piet Visser. These narratives and their authors were well-known in their own time but are nowadays largely forgotten. Written in the late-nineteenth century, these narratives evoke a sense of nostalgia in a time where the world was no longer unexplored territory but instead completely mapped and demystified. The study of haunted literature has so far largely ignored the ship as a haunted space. My research attempts to fill this niche by exploring the myth of the Flying Dutchman and other ghost ships in the nineteenth century.

  • October 2013-present: Teaching assistant for ENGL1008 Language, Text and Culture in the Early Middle Ages, University of Southampton
  • October 2010-May 2011: Course tutor for Language Taster Course: Dutch (Centre for Language Study, University of Southampton)
  • December 2011-December 2012: Personal tutor of English and French grammar (Bijlesnetwerk, Netherlands)
Ms Minke Jonk
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom
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