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Eva M. Simms, Ph.D.

Professor & Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

212 Rockwell Hall
Phone: 412.396.6515


Ph.D., Psychology, University of Dallas, 1988
M.A., Psychology, University of Dallas,1982
B.A., Psychology, Phillips Universitaet Marburg, 1980
Abitur, History/English, Gymnasium am Rosterberg, Siegen, 1978

Dr. Eva-Maria Simms is professor of psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She studied at the Phillips Universit-t Marburg in Germany, and received her Ph.D. in phenomenological and archetypal psychology from the University of Dallas.

Dr. Simms' interests are interdisciplinary (psychology, philosophy, poetry, spirituality, feminism), but they converge in her writing and research on child psychology. Early childhood offers the opportunity to study the genesis of many phenomena of interest to psychologists and philosophers: embodiment, language, co-existentiality, identity, etc. It also marks a time in human development where consciousness is non-dualistic and pre-Cartesian. In her phenomenological studies, Dr. Simms investigates children's sense of embodiment, co-existentiality, place, things, time, and language primarily from a perspective informed by the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty. She describes her work as a radically non-dualistic or -chiasmic- psychology, which tries to create a language for dimensions of human experience which -- as long as they are unspoken -- generally remain outside the domain of human thought.

Dr. Simms has also written on Goethean Science and the work of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. She is co-founder of Autumn House Press, a publisher of contemporary American poetry.


Simms, E.M. (2012). David L. Smith: Human Science Psychology's "Keeper of the Flame" October 24, 1931-July 21, 2011. The Humanistic Psychologist, 40(2), 218-220.

Simms, E.M. (2012). Feral city: Nature in urban environments (blogger for the literary journal). Coal Hill Review, http://www.coalhillreview.com/?cat=497.

Simms, E.M. (2012). Wieder denken zu lernen wie ein Kind [interview mit Eva-Maria Simms]. Journal Phӓnomenologie, 28(2012).

Simms, E.M. (2012). Der erlebte Raum des Kleinkindes: Tiefenstrukturen der menschlichen Raumerfahrung. In H. Schröteler-von Brandt (Ed.), Raum für Bildung: Ӓsthetik und Architektur von Lernund Lebensorten. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag.

Simms, E.M. (2012) Intimacy and early deprivation:A philosophical lesson about transcendence from infant research. In Emotion, Space, and Society, special Volume on Intimacy, edited by Kym McClaren, Ryerson University, Toronto (in press).

Simms, E.M. (2012) The Case of the Lost Piglets: An Ontological Psychoanalysis of Trauma Play and the Advent of Language, Festschrift for David Smith, Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Pittsburgh

Simms, E.M. (2012) Goethe und die Ph-nomenologie: Weltanschauung, Methode und Naturphilosophie, in Maatsch, T. et al. Eds, Morphologie und Moderne . Weimar, Germany: Klassik Stiftung Weimar (in press).

Simms, E.M. (2010) Egocentric Language and the Upheaval of Speech: A Merleau-Ponty Inspired Study of Language Acquisition, Chiasmi: An International Journal of Merleau-Ponty's Thought, vol. 12, 2010.

Simms, E.M. (2010) Questioning the Value of Literacy: A phenomenology of speaking and reading in children. In Coats, K. et al. eds. (2010) Handbook of Children's and Young Adult Literature. London/New York: Routledge.

Simms, E.M. (2010) Play and the Transformation of Feeling - Niki's Case. Gil, Eliana ed. Interpersonal Trauma: When Children Lead the Way. New York: Guilford Publications, Inc.

Simms, E.M. (2009) Eating one's mother: Female embodiment in a toxic world. Environmental Ethics, vol. 31, Fall 2009, pp. 263-278

Simms, E.M. (2008) The child in the world: Embodiment, time, and language in early childhood. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

Simms, E.M. (2008) Literacy and the Appearance of Childhood, Janus Head, 10(2), 445-459

Simms, E.M. (2009) Eating one's mother: Female embodiment in a toxic world. Environmental Ethics, vol. 31, Fall 2009, pp. 263-278

Simms, E.M. (2008) Children's lived spaces in the Inner city: geographical and political aspects of the psychology of place. The Humanistic Psychologist, vol. 36, Issue 1, January 2008, pp. 72-89

Simms, E.M. (2005) Goethe, Husserl, and the Crisis of the European Sciences. In Janus Head, Special Issue: Goethe's Delicate Empiricism. Summer 2005, vol. 8.1, pp. 160-172

Simms, E.M. (2005) Growing up in the Hood: sixty years of childhood in an inner city neighborhood. In Forneck, H.J. and Retzlaf, B., eds. Kontingenz - Transformation - Entgrenzung. 'ber Ver-nderungen im p-dagogischen Feld. Rostock: Ingo Koch Verlag. Pp. 75-88

Simms, E.M. (2004) Uncanny Dolls: Images of Death in Rilke and Freud, re-anthologized in Piven, J. The Psychology of Death in Fantasy and History. New York, Greenwood/Praeger.

Simms, E.M. (2003) Play and the Transformation of Feeling - A Clinical Case Study. In Olfman, S. (ed.), Crisis in Early Childhood Education: The Rise of Technologies and Demise of Play. New York, Geenwood/Prager.

Simms E.M. (2001) Milk and flesh: A phenomenological reflection on infancy and coexistence. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology. Vol. 32, Number 1, Spring 2001.

Simms, E.M. (2000) In Destitute Times: Archetype and Existence in Rilke's Duino Elegies. In R. Brooke (ed.) Pathways into the Jungian World. London: Routledge