Faculty at the School of Arts and Humanities

Jessica Murphy

Dean of Undergraduate Education / Associate Professor

Mary McDermott Cook Chair for Undergraduate Education

Areas of Specialization:  Early Modern English Literature and Culture, Renaissance Drama, Women's Writing

Office:  FO 2.710
Office Hours:  By appointment.
Mail Station:  FO 16
Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  972-883-4445

I am an associate professor of literary studies here at the University of Texas at Dallas whose research interests include English Renaissance literature and culture, gender studies, early modern women's writing, Shakespeare, and digital humanities. My first book, Virtuous Necessity, published by The University of Michigan Press, studies representations of chastity, silence, and obedience in early modern conduct manuals for women and literary texts. "Feminine Virtue's Network of Influence in Early Modern England" (in Studies in Philology 2012) takes a close look at the virtue of obedience. In "'Of the sicke virgin': Britomart, Greensickness, and the Man in the Mirror" (in Spenser Studies 2010), I look at the character of Britomart in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene through the lens of early modern ideas about greensickness. My contributions to the edition Broadside Ballads from the Pepys Collection: A Selection of Texts, Approaches, and Recordings focus on Pepys's "Marriage" and "Love Unfortunate" categories. I often work in collaboration with colleagues including an essay in the Broadside Ballads collection on the ballad trade written with Kris McAbee (UALR), a chapter on collaboration and textual analysis (written with Monica Bulger, Jeff Scheible, and Elizabeth Lagresa) in Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies, and one co-authored essay (written with William Hsu of KSU and his team) in New Technologies in Renaissance Studies. I am currently beginning work on my second book, Sex Salves, which studies greensickness and other female illnesses in early modern English literature as indicative of that culture's anxieties about women's sexuality and compares these representations with current-day debates about women's bodies.

My research focuses on the literature and culture of early modern England (c. 1500-1700).

My philosophy of teaching stems from my own experience as a first-generation college student and is based on the belief that students deserve access to the tools of learning—both conventional and innovative (for example, expression of ideas, active listening, prewriting exercises, effective notetaking, and defamiliarization). Because new strategies are learned best in the classroom community, I am deeply invested in creating an environment that validates each student's choice to be in my classroom and encourages her to see herself as an important member of that learning community. My hope in every class I teach is that students will learn the skills necessary to deepen their understanding and appreciation of literature. I endeavor to give them both the confidence and the technology to do so.

Before joining the faculty at UT Dallas, I was a graduate student at the University of Santa Barbara, CA where I taught Shakespeare and writing. Prior to graduate school, I held positions as a construction site laborer, antiques salesperson, busperson, server, restaurant manager, bartender, wedding planner, banquet assistant, and an assistant for a research project at Columbia University in New York among other things.

Recent Courses:  View courses taught by Jessica Murphy

PhD, English, University of California, Santa Barbara
MA, English, University of California, Santa Barbara
BA, Philosophy, Hunter College, City University of New York

Curriculum Vitae:  Jessica Murphy's CV

Website(s):  Jessica C. Murphy - Home