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Karen Simecek

Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Student Experience and Progression (DSEP) for the philosophy department. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and I am a WIHEA fellow (2017-2020).


My research interests are in Philosophy of Poetry, Aesthetics, Moral Reasoning and the Emotions. I am working on issues around the value of reading poetry in terms of how this experience can enhance our understanding of ourselves and contribute to our sense of moral progress. My current focus is on the potentia value of the performed poetry, which I connect with the idea of shared emotion.

Before joining the department in 2014, I was a postdoctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project 'the Uses of Poetry', University of Birmingham, where I worked with colleagues from literary studies, psychology and education to investigate the benefits of reading poetry for life-long learning. I have also held an Early Career Fellowship (2013) at the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Warwick, where I researched the relationship between poetry and the emotions.

I completed my PhD in Philosophy and Literature (2013) at the University of Warwick, which was supervised by Dr Eileen John. My thesis, entitled, 'Experiencing Lyric Poetry: Emotional Responses, Philosophical Thinking and Moral Inquiry' focused on the philosophical value of reading poetry.

I am a member of the executive committee for the European Society for Aesthetics. I'm also the Poetry category editor on Philpapers.



Special Journal Issues

  • The Uses of Poetry, special issue of Changing English (2016), guest edited by Karen Simecek and Kate Rumbold, vol. 23 (4)

Book reviews and review chapters


Tel: 024 7652 4321

Office: S2.61

Drop in times (for Advice and Feedback) in term 2: Tuesdays 2-3pm and Thursdays 10-11am (term time only)

or feel free to email for an appointment


Philosophy through Film

Philosophy in Education (co-taught with Dr Emma Williams)

Reason, Argument and Analysis


Stratford Girls' Grammar School, 2016