Simon  Kemp Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Simon Kemp

Associate Professor
University of Oxford

Simon Kemp is Associate Professor of French at Oxford University. He has published widely on modern European literature, including monographs on narrative form in the contemporary novel and on pastiche of crime fiction. He is currently working on representations of the conscious and unconscious mind in literature, theory and film. A first monograph, 'Writing the Mind: Representing Consciousness from Proust to the Present' (2017) will be followed by two companion volumes.


I was educated at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and have taught in the Université de Paris X(Nanterre), Hongik University (Seoul), Royal Holloway University of London, and Oxford University, where I am now an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Modern Languages and Tutorial Fellow in French at Somerville College.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    I have so far published three monographs and numerous articles on modern European literature. 'Defective Inspectors: Crime Fiction Pastiche in Late-Twentieth-Century French Literature' (2006) explored the use of detective-story tropes in the work of Georges Perec, Alain Robbe-Grillet and others to experiment with narrative formulas and explore questions of perception, reason and truth. 'French Fiction into the Twenty-First Century: The Return to the Story' (2010) looked at the work of five contemporary writers -- Marie Darrieussecq, Annie Ernaux, Jean Echenoz, Patrick Modiano and Pascal Quignard -- with a focus on narrative form and the widely perceived retreat in recent French literature from formal experiment into more straightforward storytelling. Since 2010 I have been focused on representations of the conscious and unconscious mind, with a particular interest in recent cultural history and the rise and fall of religious, psychoanalytic, philosophical and scientific influences on our understanding of how the mind works across the last hundred years. My first monograph on the topic, 'Writing the Mind: Representing Consciousness from Proust to the Present', appeared with Routledge in 2017, and I am currently working on two companion volumes, to explore representations of consciousness in critical theory and film respectively.

Personal Interests

    I have a particular interest in access and outreach work. I enjoy visiting schools to talk about modern languages and lead workshops in the subject. I started the University of Oxford's popular modern languages blog for schools, 'Adventures on the Bookshelf'. I have also worked with Ofsted on A-level reform, and with Oxford University Press on their expansion of their Literary Companion sixth-form study guides into modern languages, to which I also contributed the first volume, on Camus's L'Etranger.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Writing the Mind: Representing Consciousness - 1st Edition book cover