Erin Murphy

murphyAssociate Professor
BA, Vassar College
MA, PhD, Rutgers University
Room 523



WGS 801: Theories and Methods in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Fall 2013

Thursdays 1:00–3:30 pm



This course will explore the variety and complexity of theories and methods in the interdisciplinary fields of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.  Since both the readings for the class and the seminar participants will be drawn from an array of disciplinary perspectives, the course offers a unique opportunity to consider central issues in the study of gender and sexuality.  Readings will include both classic texts on gender and sexuality and current trends in the field.  Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course, guest lecturers will provide additional depth in areas beyond the instructor’s area of expertise.  We will also consider recent examples of the interaction of scholarly work with the world beyond academia through a shared case study, as well as student presentations of work in their various fields.

Course assignments will be designed to help students explore the issues of the course from their own vantage points, as well as share their disciplinary perspectives and areas of expertise with each other.  Assignments will include posted discussion questions and response papers, annotated bibliographies, presentations, and a final seminar paper.




* Renaissance and Restoration literature and culture
* Milton
* Early modern women writers
* Seventeenth-century politics and political theory
* Gender and sexuality studies


“War Times: Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writing and its Afterlives,”
in Rethinking Historicism from Shakespeare to Milton, eds. Ann Coiro and Thomas Fulton, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).

* “Paradise Lost and the Politics of Begetting,” Milton Quarterly, 45:1 (March 2011).

* Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century English Literature (University of Delaware Press, December 2010)

* “Sabrina and the Making of English History in PolyOlbion and A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle,” Studies in English Literature, 51, 1 (Winter 2011).

* Co-editor with Keith Vincent, Criticism 52.2 (Spring 2010),
Special Issue: “Honoring Eve: Essays on the Work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.” Includes an introductory essay by the editors, 159-76.

* “Infectious Knowledge: Teaching John Milton’s Of Education and Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies,”
in Teaching Early Modern Prose, eds. Margaret Ferguson and Susannah Monta (Modern Language Association, 2010)

* “Milton’s ‘Birth Abortive’: Remaking Family at the End of Paradise Lost,” in Milton Studies 43 (2004)

* “Mary Astell,” in The Age of Milton: An Encyclopedia of Major 17th-Century British and American Authors, ed. Alan Hager (2004)