Paul Sopcak

Visiting Associate Professor at the Chair for English Literary Studies


Paul Sopcak studied English and Hispanic Literatures, and Intercultural Hermeneutics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, where he received his M.A. in 2005. He then went on to study Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, Canada, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2011. He has taught English Literature, Comparative Literature, and Philosophy at universities in Canada and Germany. 

Paul Sopcak's research interests include the empirical study of literature, empathy, restorative justice, phenomenology, and existential philosophy. He is assistant editor for the journal Scientific Study of Literature.


Phone: +49 241 80 93605


Publications in peer-reviewed journals:

  • Sopcak, P., Kuiken, D., & Douglas, S. (2022). Existential reflection and morality. Frontiers in Communication7, 991774. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.991774 
  • Sopcak, P. & Kuiken, D. (2022). The affective allure – a phenomenological dialogue with David Miall’s studies of foregrounding and feeling. Journal of Literary Semantics, 51(2), 75-91. doi: 10.1515/jls-2022-2053 
  • Sopcak, P. (2020). Academic Integrity and the Pandemic. Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity, 3(2), 41-42. doi: 10.11575/cpai.v3i2.71649  
  • Sopcak, P., Kuiken, D., & Miall, D. S. (2020). The Effects of Free Indirect Style in George Eliot's Middlemarch: A Reader Response Study. Empirical Approaches to Narrative: A Special Issue. Anglistik, 31(1), 15-29. doi: 10.33675/ANGL/2020/1/4  
  • Salgaro, M., & Sopcak, P., (Eds.). (2018). Empirical Studies of Literariness: A Special Issue. Scientific Study of Literature8(1). doi: 10.1075/ssol.00004
  • Sopcak, P., Salgaro, M., & Hanauer, D. I. (2018). Introduction to the special issue. Scientific Study of Literature8(1), 1-4. doi: 10.1075/ 
  • Sopcak, P., Salgaro, M., & Herrmann, J. B. (Eds.). (2016). Transdisciplinary approaches to literature and empathy: A Special Issue. Scientific Study of Literature6(1). doi: 10.1075/ssol.6.1
  • Sopcak, P., Salgaro, M., & Herrmann, J. B. (2016). Introduction: Transdisciplinary approaches to literature and empathy. Scientific Study of Literature6(1), 2–5. doi: 10.1075/ssol.6.1.02sop
  • Dixon, P., Bortolussi, M., & Sopcak, P. (2015). Extratextual effects on the evaluation of narrative texts. Poetics48, 42–54. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2014.12.001
  • Sopcak, P. (2013). “He made her feel the beauty:” Readers’ responses to Maurice Blanchot and Virginia Woolf’s treatments of finitude. Scientific Study of Literature3(2), 209–239. doi: 10.1075/ssol.3.2.04sop
  • Kuiken, D., Campbell, P., and Sopcak, P. (2012). The Experiencing Questionnaire: Locating exceptional reading moments. Scientific Study of Literature2(2), 243–272. doi: 10.1075/ssol.2.2.04kui
  • Sopcak, P. & Kuiken, D. (2012). Reader’s engagements with Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: From knowing about death to the experience of finitude. Mémoires du Livre/Studies in Book Culture, 3(2). doi: 10.7202/1009348ar.
  • Sopcak, P. (2010). In memoriam: The experience of eulogizing a loved one. Phenomenology and Practice, 4(1), 88-96.
  • Bortolussi, M., Dixon, P., & Sopcak, P. (2010). Gender and reading. Poetics38(3), 299–318. doi: 10.1016/j.poetic.2010.03.004
  • Sopcak, P. (2007). “Creation from nothing”: a foregrounding study of James Joyce’s drafts for UlyssesLanguage and Literature16(2), 183–196. doi: 10.1177/0963947007075984

Chapters in peer-reviewed collected volumes:

  • Sopcak, P., & Sopcak N. (in press). Qualitative Approaches to Empirical Ecocriticism. In M. Schneider-Mayerson, A. Weik von Mossner, W. Małecki, and F. Hakemulder (Eds.), Empirical Ecocriticism: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Narrative. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 
  • Sopcak, P. & Hood, K. (2022). Building a Culture of Restorative Practice and Restorative Responses to Academic Misconduct. In S. E. Eaton & J. Christensen-Hughes (Eds.), Academic Integrity in Canada. London, Berlin, New York: Springer Nature. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-83255-1_29 
  • Kuiken, D. & Sopčák, P. (2021). Openness, Reflective Engagement, and Self-Altering Literary Reading. In D. Kuiken & A. Jacobs (Eds.), Handbook of Empirical Literary Studies (pp. 305-342). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110645958-013 
  • Peer, W., Sopčák, P., Castiglione, D., Fialho, O., Jacobs, A. & Hakemulder, F. (2021). Foregrounding. In D. Kuiken & A. Jacobs (Eds.), Handbook of Empirical Literary Studies (pp. 145-176). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110645958-007 
  • Sopcak, P. (2018). “Creation from nothing:” a foregrounding study of James Joyce’s drafts for Ulysses (reprint). In M. Toyota (Ed.). Stylistics, Vol 4. New Delhi; Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
  • Sopcak, P. (2011). A numerically aided phenomenological study of existential reading. In F. Hakemulder (Ed.), De Stralende Lezer: Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Naar De Invloed Van Het Lezen (pp. 123-152). Den Haag: Stichting Lezen.
  • Sopcak, P. (2008). Compassion and disgust as markers of cultural differences in reading violence. In J. Auracher & W. van Peer (Eds.), New Beginnings in Literary Studies (198-217). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Sopcak, P. (2008). Theoretical and philosophical perspectives: Introduction. In S. Zyngier, M. Bortolussi, A. Chesnokova, & J. Auracher (Eds.), Directions in empirical studies: In honour of Willie van Peer (3-5). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Sopcak, P. (2007). Intertextuality in Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines and T.G.H. Strehlow’s Songs of Central Australia. In S. Zyngier, A. Chesnokova, & V. Viana (Eds.), Acting and connecting: Cultural approaches to language and literature (pp. 61-82). Münster: Lit Verlag.
  • Vander, V., Fialho, O., Sopcak, P., Sergeyeva, M. & Rumbesht, A. (2007). (In)visible networks in action: Four perspectives” In S. Zyngier, A. Chesnokova, & V. Viana (Eds.), Acting and connecting: Cultural approaches to language and literature (pp. 23-49). Münster: Lit Verlag.

Other publications:

  • Sopcak, P., (2011). Epiphanies of Finitude: A Phenomenological Study of Existential Reading. University of Alberta. Dissertation.
  • Sopcak, P., Kuiken, D., & Miall, D. (2008). Beyond ‘voices:’ Empirical studies of free indirect discourse in Middlemarch. In Kenneth S. Bordens (Ed.). Proceedings of the 20th Biennial Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics (pp. 297-300). Chicago, IL: IAEA.
  • Sopcak, P. (2007). Book review: Muses and measures: Empirical research methods for the humanities. In F. Hakemulder, D. Miall, & S. Zyngier (Eds.), IGEL Newsletter 20
  • Sopcak, P. & Auracher, J. (2005). A brief report on the IGEL Summer Institute. In F. Hakemulder, D. Miall, & S. Zyngier (Eds.), IGEL Newsletter 15