Thesis supervisor by expertise

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All supervisors and their expertises

Cathelein Aaftink

Short stories, literary aesthetics, Virginia Woolf, James Baldwin, literature and controversy, literature and spirituality, empirical studies of literature, deconstruction, phenomenology, contemporary literary prose. 

Sue Blackwell

My background is in corpus linguistics and more recently in forensic linguistics.  My Ph.D. was on pronouns in English and Dutch (how children acquire personal pronouns and how politicians manipulate them).  My latest publication is a Critical Discourse Analysis of the IHRA "working definition of antisemitism".  I love controversial subjects and texts so don't be afraid to approach me with unconventional proposals for your dissertation topic, as long as they are linguistic in nature!


  • Forensic Linguistics / Language and the Law;
  • Critical Discourse Analysis applied to various text types but especially political discourse;
  • Child language acquisition, including children on the autistic spectrum;
  • Language and Gender;
  • Bilingualism (individual or societal);
  • Corpus Linguistics (in its own right or applied to any of the above topics)

I have some familiarity with basic statistics and Qualtrics questionnaires; and with the CHILDES corpora and the Old Bailey corpus, amongst others.

Aoju Chen

First language acquisition, second language acquisition, social impact of language ability, phonetics, phonology, prosody, information structure, sarcasm, speech perception, speech production, language comprehension. 

Sajed Chowdhury

Early Modern literature and culture.

Debbie Cole

Received her Ph.D in linguistics and linguistic anthropology at the University of Arizona. Her work in semiotics combines research in linguistics, anthropology, and literature. Her work in these areas responds to the general question:  How do humans view, talk, and write about ourselves and others as belonging (or not belonging) to different social categories? Her work in play and practice responds to the general question: How can we question, change, and reflect on standardizing practices in institutions, especially in teaching and learning environments, to enhance learning and cultivate creativity? She also translates poetry from Bahasa Indonesia into English. 

Marcelle Cole

Historical linguistics, language variation and change, Old English and Middle English, Medieval culture and literature.

Simon Cook

Contemporary literary fiction, nonfiction and journalism and the interplay between them, in particular Monica Ali, Martin Amis, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Mary Gaitskill, Siri Hustvedt, Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, among others. Literature and pornography, representation, sexuality, simulacra & simulation.

Christophe Declercq

  1. The use of languages - through translation, interpreting and/or mediation - in times of crisis and conflict. This can be a socio-cultural history as well as a contemporary study (socio-cultural diaspora histories and transnational refugee studies).
  2. Intralingual variation in dubbing or subtitles (between NL-NL and NL-BE but also within NL-NL).
  3. Translation (annotated and commented).
  4. British area studies from 1789 until 1922.

Rias van den Doel

Language attitudes, language contact, English in higher education, World Englishes, English as a lingua franca, Dutch English, non-native pronunciation of English. 

Gys-Walt van Egdom

Translation (annotated + research).

Nynke de Haas

Syntax, semantics, pragmatics, language variation and change, language contact.

Trenton Hagar

First language acquisition, second language acquisition, intercultural communication, sociolinguistics, foreign language pedagogy, English language proficiency.

Timothy Heimlich

My research interests include British literatures of the long eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (that is, the period spanning 1660-1914), with specialisms in writing of and about empire, race, the so-called “Celtic periphery” (Ireland, Scotland, and Wales), and Romanticism. In addition to these topics, I would be willing to supervise theses covering subjects like gothic writing, pastoral, urbanization, industrialization, the commons, travel writing, the philosophy of history, lyric, the history of the novel, literature and the other arts, ecocriticism, and postcolonial and transnational writing. 

Johanna Hoorenman

American literature, American genre fiction, American poetry, Native American literatures, African American literature, Critical Animal Studies, Posthumanism, cultural memory and historical fiction.

I can supervise theses on the following subjects:

  • 18th and 19th century Courtesan memoirs & whore biographies;
  • Jane Austen and Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte;
  • American poetry: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Mark Doty;
  • American fiction: Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Jesmyn Ward, Marilynne Robinson;
  • Irish fiction: Anne Enright, Colm Toibin.

Christopher Jenks 

Are you interested in how language is used to accomplish different social actions, such as complaining, arguing, trolling, or complimenting? Have you ever thought about how your day-to-day communicative encounters are tied to larger, say social or historical, phenomena, such as racism, imperialism, or political systems? If these types of questions interest you, then you may wish to consider doing your BA thesis using discourse analysis or looking at intercultural communication (to which I have dedicated my professional life).

Ganna Kolesnyk

Received her  Ph.D. in Contemporary British Literature. Her thesis was devoted to the experiments with the genre of literary biography performed by contemporary British writer Peter Ackroyd. Her research interests include: 

  • Historiographical Metafiction (including novels featuring writers' biographies)
  • Rewriting mythology and fairy-tales in contemporary literature 
  • (Postmodern) Fantasy Literature  / Contemporary British literature  
  • Postmodern British literature 

Cees Koster

Zijn huidige onderzoek richt zich vooral op de 19e- en 20e-eeuwse vertaalgeschiedenis. In 2002 publiceerde hij hierover De Hollandsche vertaalmolen. Nederlandse beschouwingen over vertalen, 1820-1885 (Reeks vertaalhistorie, deel 5a) en (samen met Ton Naaijkens) Een vorm van lezen. Nederlandse beschouwingen over vertalen, 1885-1946 (Reeks vertaalhistorie deel 5b).

Onno Kosters

  • Translation (annotated or research).
  • Poetry, prose, drama, non-fiction.
  • British and Irish literature 1700-present: The Pre-Romantics and the Romantics. Stevenson, Wilde, Synge.
  • Modernism.
  • Reception studies.
  • Narratology.
  • Joyce, Beckett, Evelyn Waugh, David Lodge. Anne Enright, Sally Rooney.

Haidee Kotze


  • Translation (studied from (psycho)linguistic, literary, cultural, sociological perspectives – and all besides) 
  • Language variation and change, with a particular emphasis on varieties of English / World Englishes 
  • Language contact 
  • Bi- and multilingualism 
  • Political discourse (particularly parliamentary language) 


  • Corpus linguistics 
  • Digital humanities  
  • (Corpus-assisted) discourse analysis 
  • Experimental / process-oriented methods to study translation 

Innovative combinations of these topics and methods are particularly welcome. 

Allison Neal

Twentieth-century American literature, twentieth-century British literature, modernism, post-1945 literature and culture, lyric poetry, contemporary literary fiction and poetry, literature and sound studies, literature and the arts, the history of literary criticism, aesthetics, and travel literature. 

David Pascoe

English literature and culture.

Anna Poletti

Students interested in contemporary literature in English that deal with gender and sexuality, and / or life writing (including comics and social media) are welcome to propose a BA thesis topic, or to approach Anna for a meeting to discuss potential topics. Anna is on sabbatical in blocks 1 and 2, and is only available for supervision in blocks 3 and 4. 

Suggestion reading to explore possible topics:

Jochem Riesthuis

His research focusses on the representation of identity, specifically racial identity, in 20th and 21st century American and Carribbean literature, the position of African American Literature in the American Canon, American political literature and the City in American writing.

Koen Sebregts

Phonetics, phonology, sound change, sociophonetics, sociolinguistics and language variation in general, varieties of English in pop music.

Laura Smorenburg

Topics: Phonetics, forensic phonetics, speaker variability, sociophonetics, speech acoustics, phonology, intonation, and prosody.

The past four years, I've been working on my PhD in forensic phonetics, where I've looked at how speaker-dependent variability in speech production is dependent on linguistic factors such as syllabic position and phonetic context. I've also worked on L2 acquisition of sarcastic prosody in collaboration with Aoju Chen. Although my research is mostly focussed on speech production, I've also worked on speech perception, more specifically on the effect of voice gender on verbal processing using behavioural methods.

Thomas St Pierre


Lieke Stelling

Early modern literature and culture, Shakespeare, the Reformation, religion and literature, humour studies, comedy, conceptions of early modern Europe.

Roselinde Supheert

Map Your Hero(ine). Why are Emma, Jane Eyre and Peter Pan still so popular? All three have been adapted multiple times into fanfictions, films, plays and more. Are they the same or have they changed, and if so in what way? By analysing classics and their afterlives, we come to know more about their world and ours. Preparing for this thesis you will familiarise yourself with earlier research on reception and adaptation. You will apply these insights to a case study of your choice, analysing the afterlife of a classic. This research presupposes the module Adapting to the Novel or a comparable module on adaptation.

Suggested reading:

Elena Tribushinina

Elena Tribushinina is an expert in first and second language acquisition, language disorders (DLD, dyslexia), child bilingualism and foreign language pedagogy. Students are welcome to suggest their own BA thesis topic in the field of language acquisition. However, you are encouraged to join one of the following running projects:

  1.  (Why) do bilingual children have foreign language learning advantages?
    In this project we compare English as a foreign language (EFL) achievements of monolingual and bilingual children. Do bilinguals have EFL learning advantages? How is their EFL learning success related to their proficiency in the majority language (Dutch) and in a home language (e.g. Turkish)? What are the mechanisms explaining such advantages (enhanced cognitive skills, metalingusitic awareness, etc.)? This project is carried out in collaboration with the Faculty of Social Sciences.
  2. EFL learning by children with language disorders
    There is a growing pressure to teach foreign languages as early as possible, and children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) are not immune from these pressures. Surprisingly, foreign language learning by children with DLD is a largely unexplored terrain. This project aims to fill this gap. We are also developing new teaching methods tailored to the specific needs of vulnerable learners with DLD and/or dyslexia. This project is implemented in collaboration with the Royal Dutch Kentalis (for DLD) and Stichting Taalhulp (for dyslexia). 

Hielke Vriesendorp


  • Sociolinguistics broadly, and especially:
    • Sexuality
    • Gender
    • Sociolinguistic perception
    • Accent variation
  • Experimental approaches to linguistics

Mia You

My own research interests include: Poetry. 20th & 21st-century American literature. Modernism. Postmodernism. Literature & the visual arts. Feminist theory. Translation & translingual poetics. I'm not a huge fan of popular genre fiction (except selective detective and gothic fiction, i.e., P.D. James and Henry James), so I would not be the most informed supervisor for topics related to fantasy, sci-fi, etc.