CJ Simon joined the Stuart Hall Foundation Scholar and Fellow network in September 2023, after receiving the WRDTP Studentship to complete his PhD in Political Psychology at the University of Sheffield. As a spoken-word artist, playwright, and academic, CJ is interested in the psychology of political change and he hopes to explore how to utilise the interplay of emotion and cognition works in producing systemic change. Much of this came from his time spent studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield for his BA in which he achieved a first.
CJ’s doctoral research aims to explore how art and culture shape our political reality. He intends to specifically focus on how cultural products like theatre and film operate to produce or resist white-supremacy. In doing this work, CJ seeks to find points of synthesis between the works of cultural theorists like Stuart Hall and Edward Said, existential psychologists like R.D Laing and Giles Deleuze, and emotion studies scholars like George E Marcus and Lisa Feldman Barrett. This research aims to empower activists, politicians, and cultural producers with the communication strategies necessary to produce real political change.
Taking from these research interests, CJ Simon has worked for the better part of a decade, producing research-led and politics-driven pieces of theatre and poetry.His poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, Debt Justice, and the Dig Where You Stand Project. His play The Fire This Time, is being developed through the Sheffield Theatre residency.
You can find out more about his creative and academic journey on his website CJ Simon Writes here: https://www.cjsimonwrites.com/