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 potential value of the performed poem, which I connect with the idea of shared emotion. You can read more about my research in this interview by Richard Marshall for 3:AM Magazine.
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.
- 'Cultivating Intimacy: the use of the second person in lyric poetry' (forthcoming), by Karen Simecek, Philosophy and Literature
- 'Beyond Narrative: Poetry, Emotion and the Perspectival View' (2015), by Karen Simecek, British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (4).
- 'The Uses of Poetry: Renewing an Educational Understanding of a Language Art' (2017) by Karen Simecek and Viv Ellis, Journal of Aesthetic Education 51 (1)
- 'Actual Texts, Possible Meanings: The Uses of Poetry and the Subjunctification of Experience' (2016), by Andrew Green, Viv Eillis and Karen Simecek, The Uses of Poetry, Special Issue of Changing English, vol. 23 (4)
- ‘Affective and Cognitive Responses to Poetry in the University Classroom,' (2016) by Kate Rumbold and Karen Simecek, The Uses of Poetry, Special Issue of Changing English, vol. 23 (4)
- 'On the seeming incompatibility between Poetry and Philosophical Inquiry',(2013) by Karen Simecek, Estetika, The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1).
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
- 'Affect theory' (2017), by Karen Simecek, The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory 25
- 'Bernard Harrison's What is Fiction For? Literary Humanism Restored' (2016), by Karen Simecek, British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (4):424-427.
- 'John Gibson's (ed.) The Philosophy of Poetry,' (2016) by Karen Simecek, British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (3):320-322
- ‘Peter Larkin's Promising Losses: Wordsworth and Coleridge’ (2014), by Karen Simecek La Questione Romantica 3 (2).
- 'Hearing Meaning and Poetry: In Conversation with Angela Leighton' (2014), by Karen Simecek PN Review 215, vol. 40 (3). This first appeared as 'Hearing Meaning and Poetry: An Interview with Professor Angela Leighton', (2012) Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 9 (3).
Tel: 024 7652 4321
Drop in times (for Advice and Feedback) in term 3: Tuesdays 2-4pm (term time only)
or feel free to email for an appointment (I am available at other times as well)
Philosophy in Education (co-taught with Dr Emma Williams)