Frank Hakemulder has a background in literary theory, and specializes in the psychology of literature and media, in particular the impact of stories on reflection, wellbeing, perception of self and other (e.g., The moral laboratory, 2000). He is associate professor at the department of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition, he is affiliated full professor at the Reading Center at the University of Stavanger.
He supervised two NWO research projects: one pertaining to the experience of being absorbed in fictional worlds (Narrative Absorption, 2017), and the other on how such experiences affect social perception and self-concepts. From 2012 to 2016 he was president of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature. Currently he is involved as supervisor in various PhD projects within the Empirical Study of Literature Training Network funded by the EU and starting in September 2023 he will be work package leader in an ERC Advanced Grant project entitled Moral residue - epistemological ramifications, ethical implications and didactic opportunities.