OCP Academic Seminar: Literature and Character Education in Universities

Past event

When thinking about character education in higher education, one question that may come up is whether or how what students read contributes to character education. In this seminar we discuss why we think that reading philosophical and literary texts contributes to character education for students in higher education. We discuss philosophical and literary methodologies of reading texts in such a way that foregrounds the readers' experiences, and we discuss how specific texts may be selected with character education in mind, while acknowledging the autonomy of students as moral agents. The seminar draws on the recently published edited volume Literature and Character Education in Universities (Routledge, 2021), and our experiences as teachers of core text seminars at European universities.

Date: Thurs 17th Feb, Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm, Location: Zoom (online only)

If you are interested in attending the event, please contact admin.ocp@theology.ox.ac.uk.

Emma Cohen de Lara2

Emma Cohen de Lara is a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at Amsterdam University College (AUC) and Research Fellow at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Her research and teaching interests are in classical and medieval political philosophy, ethics and education and she has a particular interest in Platonic virtue ethics and moral education. Emma is actively engaged in the promotion of liberal education, serving as a board member of the Association for Core Texts and Courses and founder and board member of the University Colleges Academics Network in the Netherlands. She recently co-edited Literature and Character Education in Universities: Theory, Method and Text Analysis (Routledge, 2021).


Rosalía Baena is Associate Professor of English at the University of Navarra. Her main research interests deal with narrative theory, contemporary life writing, narrative empathy, and the phenomenology of reading. She has worked on the topic of cultural identity in postcolonial literature and multicultural writing, and she has explored issues of Englishness and nostalgia both in colonial autobiographies as well as TV period dramas. She is currently working on a book project on illness memoirs, and her publications in this field have appeared in Interdisciplinary Literary Studies (2013), Concentric (2016), Diegesis (2017), Medical Humanities (2017) or Frontiers of Narrative Studies (2020), as well as a book chapter in the Routledge Companion to Death and Literature (2021). Prof. Baena has been teaching courses on English literature and culture since 1997. She is a member of a teaching project on Transformative Reading in collaboration with the University of Malaga and Fundación Tatiana Pérez. Her recent book chapter “Reading for Pleasure: from Narrative Competence to Character Education” (Literature and Character Education, Routledge, 2022), reflects her interest in the value of teaching literature to university students.