PAUW.VOS My name is Pauw Vos, and I am a first year student in the master of Comparative Literary Studies at Utrecht University. My interests, literary and otherwise, mainly lie in our (human) relationship with nature and all that that encompasses. This interest might very well stem from my name and surname, which, when translated into English, mean Peacock and Fox. With such a animalistic name, it is perhaps only natural that I would eventually end up writing about nature. The pieces I’ve written for Paratext all seem to deal in some way with our relation to the nonhuman, whether it’s rocks, ants, flies or the sounds of birds. So far, Paratext’s given me a wonderful opportunity to explore my interests in ways I’d never thought possible. Writing doesn’t always come that easy to me, but having a supportive team and a welcoming place to publish my creations has made it all the more easy to at least continue my writing. In any case, don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to write something as well!
SASKIA.SOELAKSANA Hi there, my name is Saskia and I’m currently a student in the rMA Comparative Literary Studies at Utrecht University. Although I am elbow deep in now, I didn’t grow up in a very literary household. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered an interest in poetry and literature and, now, I can’t seem to abandon it. In addition to literature, you can often find me looming on the outskirts of the artworld, looking for the unexpected. Above all, I am curious about considering things from different perspectives. Finally, I’m also a monthly contributor for the artistic and feminist platform The Tittymag, for which I (usually) write a column. Paratext has been an amazing adventure. I’ve learned so much about so many things, but what I’ve loved most of all was reading and experiencing all the contributions so far and hearing how Paratext has inspired You. Enjoy the site and if you find yourself in a creative mood, reach out and send us a message!
ROBIN.VANDENBRULE Hi! I just graduated with a BA in English Language and Culture and am currently spending my time doing many different things in different places. I delight in studying poetry, but also have a knack for anything Shakespearean. Further interests are postmodernism, theatre and performance studies, and literary criticism that borders on the philosophical. Apart from academia et cetera I love to dance; so when I need to write, I usually procrastinate by doing research on obscure French traditional music and dance.
For now, I am staying in the background during the amazing events the Paratext team is coming up with, but I do love to edit any work. Furthermore, I am looking into new ways to improve the website – so if you have any suggestions on that topic, feel free to contact me!
JUUL.KRUSE Hello! I’m Juul, a MA student of Literature Today at Utrecht University. I love writing. Yet, as many others will also find, I often struggle with it, not picking up the proverbial pen for weeks on end, whilst berating myself for it. I have found that participating in a platform like Paratext has enabled me to write more easily, and simply to write more. I like writing anything, really, but I really like writing things that differ from our collective normal, in a different way than we would normally do (alone, in my room, with a cup of tea next to me). Paratext has given me the opportunity to explore this, especially through our first writing event: Publish it Yourself. If you share this love for writing, but struggle to find the time, the peace, the inspiration, or the bravery to let another real life human being read it, please think about sending us your piece.
MARLON.SCHOTEL Hi! I’m Marlon Schotel. Like most members of the Paratext team, I studied English Language and Culture, and I have an MA in Youth Literature. Throughout my studies, I have often found myself leaning on psychological theory, and have delved deep into the field of cognitive literary criticism with a main interest in identification. As a student in Utrecht with a fascination for familiarity, I appreciate contemporary Dutch literature. You will probably recognize my preference for personal storytelling in my pieces for Paratext. Since I love writing about the lives being lived around me, and since these lives are usually lived in Dutch, you’ll often find me writing in my mother tongue. I enjoy writing music, too, and am easily moved by songwriters who blur the lines with spoken word. I first got involved with this creative platform during one of Paratext’s events: Publish It Yourself. It is projects like these that give me a little push in the back to actually pursue my writing ambitions. If that sounds familiar, do not hesitate to contribute!
ALYSSA.VREEKEN Hey! I’m Alyssa Vreeken (as you probably figured from the title). I’m currently nearing the end of the master Literature Today at University Utrecht, but last year I also started the rMA Comparative Literary Studies. Despite the fact that language and I had a rocky start (due to my dyslexia), I spent a lot of nights under my covers with a YA book or two. This eventually led me to the BA English Language and Culture. During my studies, my love for YA didn’t dwindle (anything but, as you might gather from my first publication with Paratext: “Forbidden Fruit: Did the Idolisation of Edward Cullen Lead Me into an Abusive Relationship?”), but I have expanded my interest to other areas as well, such as Perpetrator Studies, Feminist Theory, and Adaptation Theory. Currently, I’m immersed in Homer’s Odyssey for my thesis, alongside its first female translation, and contemporary rewritings from the female perspective. Prior to joining the organization of Paratext, I published two projects on the platform: the one mentioned earlier, and a really cool poetry-photography project with Lea Dokter, titled “Being / Body.” Aside from literature and studying, I dabble with photography at times. And, to round it off, I’ll end with a random fact about me: to start the day in proper Alyssa-fashion, I tend to wake myself up by singing (or, well, screaming) along to Disney Animation songs in the shower (much to the frustration of my roommates).
MINTHE.WOUDSTRA Hihello! I’m Minthe, and like the other members of the Paratext team I studied English Language and culture at Utrecht University. At the start of 2020, I finished my MA in Literary Studies at Leiden University and my literary interests lie mostly with feminist theory and (Gothic) Horror novels. I like finding connections between seemingly unrelated topics and show their correlation. Other than this I would certainly describe myself as a serial hobbyist as I have dabbled in more hobbies than I can count. My current main hobbies are writing & making music, sewing, illustrating, and photography. However, one thing is a constant in these ever-changing interests; creating. Which is why I am happy to be a part of the Paratext team to create more, and to help others do the same!
illustrations by Saskia Soelaksana