Erin Murphy

Associate Professor Department of English

  • Title Associate Professor Department of English
  • Office 544
  • Phone 617-358-2557
  • Education BA, Vassar College
    MA, PhD, Rutgers University

For a complete CV, please click here

My research and teaching interests center on the intersection of literature and politics, with primary areas of focus in seventeenth-century English literature (particularly Milton and women writers), and gender and sexuality studies more broadly.  My first book, Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century England, investigated how writers from across the political spectrum explored the promise and the threats of using family as a means to stabilize politics.  Moving beyond the much-discussed patriarchal analogy, this study drew on feminist and queer theory to illuminate the temporal stakes of family politics, giving particular attention to the explicit and implicit debates over genealogy as a literary and governmental form.  My new book project deploys an inter-historical approach, reconsidering the writing of seventeenth-century women in relation to the English civil wars, as well as the ways that this writing has been appropriated during other moments of war, including our own moment of global conflict.  I have also co-edited a collection of interdisciplinary and theoretical essays entitled Milton Now, which expands discussions of Milton beyond the dominant historicist paradigm while simultaneously engaging wider questions about the current state of literary studies.  My work in sexuality studies includes the co-editing of a special issue of Criticism on the work of Eve Sedgwick.  I am also working on new essays on Milton and queer studies, the first of which will appear in June 2017.   In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate classes in English, I teach both the undergraduate class WS 101 and the theories and methods graduate seminar in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

  • Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century English Literature, (University of Delaware Press, 2011).
  • Milton Now: Alternative Approaches and Contexts, (Palgrave, 2014).  Collection of interdisciplinary and theoretical essays on the work of John Milton inspired by the twenty-fifth anniversary of the groundbreaking volume, Re-membering Milton: Essays on the Texts and Traditions.  Co-edited with Catharine Gray.
  • Wartimes: Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writing and its Afterlives (book project)  
Special Issue
  • Honoring Eve: Essays on the Work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Criticism 52.2 (Spring 2010).  Co-edited with J. Keith Vincent.
 Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters
  • “Rude Milton: Gender, Sexuality, and the Missing Middle of Milton Studies,” in Queer Milton, edited by David Orvis (Palgrave, 2018), 1-41.
  • “Radical Relations: The Genealogical Imaginary and Queer Kinship in Milton’s Paradise Regained,” in One First Matter All:  New Essays on Milton, Materialism, and Embodiment, edited by Kevin Donovan and Thomas Festa (Duquesne Press, 2017), 81-107.
  • “‘I remain, an airy phantasm’: Lucy Hutchinson’s Civil War Ghost Writing,” ELH: English Literary History, 82:1 (Spring 2015), 87-113.
  • “Introduction,” co-written with Catharine Gray, in Milton Now: Alternative Approaches and Contexts, eds. Catharine Gray and Erin Murphy (Palgrave, 2014), 1-25. 
  • “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, 2012), 257-82.
  • Paradise Lost and the Politics of Begetting,” Milton Quarterly, (March 2011), 25-49.
  • “Sabrina and the Making of English History in Poly-Olbion and A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle,” Studies in English Literature, 51, 1 (Winter 2011), 87-110.
  • “Introduction,” co-written with J. Keith Vincent in “Honoring Eve: Essays on the Work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,” Criticism 52.2 (Spring 2010), eds. Erin Murphy and J. Keith Vincent, 159-76.
  • “Infectious Knowledge: Teaching John Milton’s Of Education and Mary Astell’s Serious Proposal to the Ladies,” in Teaching Early Modern Prose, eds. Margaret Ferguson and Susannah Monta (Modern Language Association, February 2010), 659-76.
  • “Milton’s ‘Birth Abortive’: Remaking Family at the End of Paradise Lost,” in Milton Studies 43, ed. Albert C. Labriola (Pittsburgh, 2004), 145-70.
Works in Progress
  •  “Erotic Origins: Genesis, the Passion, and Aemilia Lanyer’s Passionate Queer Temporality,” commissioned for Worldmaking Women: New Perspectives on the Centrality of Women in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Culture, edited by Pamela Hammons and Brandie Siegfried.  28 pages in manuscript.  In process.
  • Rude Reading: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the work of John Milton (book project)
Digital Project

Exhibit on biblical marginalia in Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder for “Intertextual Networks,” a research project at Northeastern University focused on intertextuality in early modern women’s writing.  The exhibit, developed in collaboration with Chelsea Clark, will be published on-line in “Women Writers in Context” as part of the Women Writers Project

Select Honors and Awards
  • NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities, Boston University, 2017-2020
  • Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2016. University-wide teaching prize.
  • Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellowship, BU Center for the Humanities, (Spring 2015)
  • Boston University English Department Commencement Speaker, 2013
  • David Kalstone Memorial Award for Best First Book, 2007.  Rutgers University Department of English.
  • Folger Institute Grant-in-Aid, Spring 2006
  • Boston University Humanities Foundation Junior Fellowship, Fall 2005
  • Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture Graduate Fellowship, 1999-2000
  • New York City Urban Fellowship, 1993-1994

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