Portrait of Dr Milena Marinkova Dr Milena Marinkova

M.D.Marinkova@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471365


Having graduated in English Studies with a minor in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, Milena completed an ORSAS-funded PhD at the University of Leeds in September 2007. Her doctoral dissertation offered an in-depth study of the literary and cinematic works of the contemporary Canadian author Michael Ondaatje against a range of postcolonial and phenomenological theoretical frameworks. It was published as a monograph by Continuum (now Bloomsbury) in 2011.

Since graduation in 2008, Milena has worked as a research assistant on an EU-funded project on media representations of minorities and migrants and an academic skills development officer at the University of Leeds, and has taught contemporary (postcolonial and Canadian) literature, visual culture and literary theory at the Universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Teesside and Derby. She is an active member of the British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS), the Yorkshire Network for Canadian Studies, the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS), Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA), European Association for Studies of Australia (EASA), Modern Language Association (MLA) and EastBordNet: Remaking Eastern Borders in Europe Network, and regularly takes part in their conventions.

Milena joined the Univeristy of Huddersfield in 2013 as a Research Fellow.

Research and Scholarship

Milena’s research has two main strands. The first concentrates on contemporary Anglophone writing of Canada (as well as the settler cultures of Australia and New Zealand), largely inflected by postcolonial critique. The second strand, which underpins the first theoretically, focuses on the relationship between the cognitive, the sensual and the affective in creative practice. Milena has published on contemporary Canadian and Australian literature, postcolonialism and writing on the Balkans, cinematic narratives in literature, trauma and witness writing, affect and postcolonial theory.

Her book, Michael Ondaatje: Haptic Aesthetics and Micropolitical Writing (Continuum, 2011), investigates Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje’s particular brand of aesthetic (which she calls ‘haptic aesthetic’), which is premised on the multisensory, intimate and relational. Deploying theories of touch and vision, affects and soma, trauma and witnessing, this study maps out the ways in which the literary investment into the bodily and the affective has an important political and ethical dimension.

Milena is currently working on a book-length study, provisionally entitled, Contesting Europe, Testing the Postcolonial: The Balkans in Transnational Literature, which interrogates the use of ‘the Balkan’ as a trope in contemporary Canadian, Australian and New Zealand writing. Drawing on existing research on Victorian and twentieth-century discourse on the Balkan region and its peoples, she reads these newer renditions of ‘the Balkan’ through the lens of postcolonial criticism, in order to map out the continuities and dissonances between ‘the Balkans of (as imagined by) Europe’ and ‘the Balkans of (as imagined by) the settler cultures’.

Milena is also involved in two collaborative projects on the poetry of Erin Moure and the fictions of Carribean-Canadian writer Nalo Hopkinson.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Marinkova, M (2013) ‘Canadian Literature of “here” and “elsewhere”: CanLit BalkansBritish Journal of Canadian Studies , 26 (2), pp. 253-273. ISSN 0269-9222

Marinkova, M (2013) ‘(De)Touring Europe: The Balkan, The Postcolonial and Christos Tsiolkas’s Dead EuropeThe European Journal of English Studies , 17 (2), pp. 176-187. ISSN 1382-5577


Marinkova, M (2012) ‘Review of Winfried Siemerling & Sarah Phillips Casteel (eds.), Canada and its Americas: Transnational navigationsBritish Journal of Canadian Studies , 25 (2), pp. 316-317. ISSN 0269-9222

Marinkova, M (2012) ‘Revolutionizing Pleasure in Writing: Subversive Desire and Micropolitical Affects in Nalo Hopkinson's The Salt Roads’. In: Postcolonial Literatures and Deleuze: Colonial Pasts, Differential Futures. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 181-198. ISBN 9780230348257


Marinkova, M (2011) Michael Ondaatje: Haptic Aesthetics and Micropolitical Writing . New York, USA: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 9781441194398


Marinkova, M (2010) ‘Po-co-co Balkans: Dancing Bears and Lovesick Donkeys, Bouncing Mines and Ethnic Conflict in Two Films from the RegionThird Text , 24 (4), pp. 457-469. ISSN 0952-8822

Marinkova, M (2010) ‘Framing Fame: Michael Ondaatje’s Cinema of Affection and LiminalityMoving Worlds: a Journal of Transcultural Writings , 10 (2), pp. 7-19.


Marinkova, M (2009) ‘Introducing the Renaissance by reading pictures, in Teaching, Curriculum and Learning Appendix’. In: Renaissance Literature Handbook. New York, USA: Continuum. p. 189. ISBN 9780826495006

Marinkova, M (2009) ‘"Perceiving [...] in one's own body" the Violence of History, Politics and Writing: Anil's Ghost and Witness WritingThe Journal of Commonwealth Literature , 44 (3), pp. 107-125. ISSN 0021-9894


Marinkova, M (2007) ‘Review: Annick Hillger, Not needing all the words: Michael Ondaatje's literature of silenceMoving Worlds: a Journal of Transcultural Writings , 7 (2), pp. 135-136.

Bates, C., Huggan, G., Marinkova, M. and Orr, J. (2007) ‘Introduction to: Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe’. In: Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe. Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University Press. p. ix-xx. ISBN 978-80-210-4243-8.

Bates, C., Huggan, G., Marinkova, M. and Orr, J. (2007) Canadian Studies in Europe/Études canadiennes en Europe . Visions of Canada/Visions du Canada.. Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University Press. ISBN 978-80-210-4243-8.


Milena is a co-convenor of the BACS Literature Group and a member of the Executive Committee of the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Leeds. She has peer-reviewed for the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts.

Research Degree Supervision

Milena would be happy to supervise dissertations and projects that focus on:

- postcolonial literatures and cultures

- postcolonial theory and criticism

- cultural representations of the Balkans / Eastern Europe

- theories of embodiment and affect, trauma and witnessing

- mixed-media / multidimensional writing

Teaching and Professional Activities

In 2013/14 academic year, Milena will be teaching on the following modules:

  • Approaches to Literature
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Literature