Literary Studies Professor Praised for New Approaches to Old Works

Dr. Jessica Murphy, assistant professor of literary studies, UT Dallas

Dr. Jessica C. Murphy's courses focus on the plays of Shakespeare, women in literature, and medieval and renaissance works.

Since 2009, Dr. Jessica C. Murphy, assistant professor of literary studies, has challenged UT Dallas students to approach traditional subjects with new tools and technologies. Her efforts have been recognized with a 2013 UT System Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this award. Teaching is extremely important to me, and I am always working to improve. It is really wonderful to be recognized for that work,” Murphy said. 

Murphy teaches courses that cover the plays of Shakespeare, women in early modern literature, and medieval and renaissance literature. She approaches these classical subjects with a digital bent.

“Getting students interested in and excited about early modern literature and culture is one of my aims in teaching. The research that I do in this area helps me bring new ideas to the classroom all of the time,” Murphy said. “I also work with the humanities and technology. I often use a social network to teach Shakespeare because I think this is an excellent way for students to understand online personae while at the same time making connections among the plays we are reading.”

Dr. Jessica C. Murphy

TITLE:  Assistant professor of literary studies    

RESEARCH INTERESTS: English Renaissance literature, gender studies, early modern women's writing and digital humanities

OTHER ACCOLADES: Received the UT Dallas Distinguished Teacher in Diversity and Multicultural Education Award in April 2011

More About the Awards
Regents Teaching Awards Honor 5 UT Dallas Faculty Members

Other Awardees
Dr. Mohammad Mainul Akbar
Dr. Daniel G. Arce
Dr. Matthew Goeckner
Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester

Murphy also attributes her success as a teacher to UT Dallas students.

“Because my teaching relies so heavily on student involvement, a classroom full of bright and involved students really makes for a good experience for everybody. I ask a lot of students in terms of a commitment to learning, and UT Dallas students have excelled at making this commitment,” she said.

Murphy’s recently completed manuscript, Virtuous Necessity, studies representations of chastity, silence and obedience in early modern conduct manuals for women and literary texts.

Among other publications, her work has appeared in Studies in Philology, Spenser Studies, Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies, and in New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Murphy is currently at work on her second book, Sex Salves, which studies greensickness and other female illnesses in early modern English literature and compares these representations with contemporary debates about women’s bodies.

She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in English at The University of California, Santa Barbara, and her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hunter College, City University of New York.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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