Scientia Professor Julian Murphet

Scientia Professor and discipline stream convenor for English, Creative Writing, and Film Studies

BA (Hons 1) USyd. (1992); MPhil USyd. (1994); PhD Cantab. (1998)

School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 4521
246C, Level 2 Robert Webster
Kensington Campus
Fields: Film and Television, Cultural Theory, British and Irish Literature, North American Literature
Tags: Languages and Literature

I took my BA (Hons) and MPhil from the University of Sydney in the mid-1990s, before heading to the University of Cambridge to complete my PhD in English Literature, at Trinity College, in 1998. After that, I was a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, in the University of Oxford; from which position I also undertook a Visiting Professorship in African-American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley (in 2000).

I was a Lecturer, and then Senior Lecturer, in the Department of English, University of Sydney, between 2002 and 2007, where I also served briefly as Associate Dean (Research). In 2007, I was appointed Professor in Modern Film and Literature at UNSW (three years research-only in the first instance), and then appointed Director of the Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia in 2011. From 2011-13, I convened the academic programs in English, Creative Writing, and Film Studies within the School of the Arts and Media.

I was elected to the Academy for the Humanities in Australia in 2013. In 2015 I was elected to the role of Scientia Professor.

I have published a good amount in this period, including my monographs Literature and Race in Los Angeles (Cambridge, 2001) and Multimedia Modernism (Cambridge, 2009). I have had a couple of sole-investigator ARC-Discovery grants, and am presently completing one on the work of William Faulkner.


Teaching and Supervision

I teach or have taught into The Literature Laboratory; Modernism: Text and Screen; American Literature: Past and Present; Introduction to Film; Film in the Media Landscape; Contemporary Approaches to Film Studies; and I contribute lectures here and there to other film and literature courses. I teach courses on modernism, American literature, and intermedial cultural production.

Areas of HDR supervision:
I invite applications to conduct research under my supervision in the broad areas of modernism, film and literature, and contemporary cultural dynamics.

Honours and prizes

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, elected 2013
Scientia Professor, UNSW, elected 2015

Engagement and Professional contributions

  • Member and Fellow: Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • Member: Australian Modernist Studies Network
  • Member: Modernist Studies Association
  • I am a member of the Modernist Studies Association, and a member of the national advisory board for the Australian Modernist Studies Network.
  • I assess several ARC grant applications each year.
  • I peer-review critical work for numerous journals (including New Literary History, Textual Practice, and the Journal of Modern Literature) and presses (including Cambridge and Oxford University Presses, Polity Press, and Ashgate Press).
  • I have worked and taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Sydney.
  • I was a Visiting Professor in African-American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley in 1999-2000.
  • I was Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney in 2007.
  • I was an Invited Visiting Summer Scholar at St. John's College, Oxford, in 2009.

Related news

Other information


Authored Scholarly Monographs
1. Todd Solondz, Contemporary Film Directors Series (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2019)— contracted 10/7/17, due for publication 1/2/2019; 186 pp.
2. Faulkner’s Media Romance(New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 282 pp.
3. Multimedia Modernism: Literature and the Anglo-American Avant-Garde(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 220 pp.
4.Narrative and Media, with Helen Fulton, Rosemary Huisman and Anne Dunn, ed. Helen Fulton (Melbourne & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005)
5.Bret Easton Ellis’American Psycho(New York: Continuum, 2002), 94 pp.
6.Literature and Race in Los Angeles, Cultural Margins Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 207 pp.

Edited Scholarly Collections

  1. E. L. Doctorow: A Reconsideration, edited with Michael Wutz (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018)—forthcoming
  2. Out of Time: Poetry and Communism Now, edited with Ruth Jennison (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2018)—forthcoming
  3. Sounding Modernism, edited with Helen Groth and Penelope Hone (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017)
  4. Rancière and Literature, edited with Grace Hellyer (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016)
  5. Faulkner in the Media Ecology, edited with Stefan Solomon (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 2015)
  6. Modernism and Masculinity,edited with Natalya Lusty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014): finalist MSA prize for best collection, 2015
  7. Flann O'Brien and Modernism, edited with Ronan McDonald and Sascha Morrell (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014)
  8. Styles of Extinction: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, edited with Mark Steven (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2012)
  9. Strong Opinions: J.M Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, edited with Chris Danta and Sue Kossew (London & New York: Continuum Press, 2011)
  10. Literature and Visual Technologies, edited with Lydia Rainford (Houndmills: Palgrave Press, 2003)

Edited Journal Issues

  1. Affirmations: of the modern(2013-): 6 issues to date
  2. Twentieth Century Literature, Special Issue: Late Coetzee, eds. Julian Murphet and Chris Danta, 57.1 (2012)

Scholarly Book Chapters
  1. “Marx in the Modernist Novel,” in Understanding Marx, Understanding Modernism, ed. Mark Steven, Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism Series (London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)—7000 words; contracted August 6, 2018; forthcoming May 1, 2019
  2. “Understanding Quad,” in Beckett and the Media, ed. Mark Nixon and Philip Schweighauser (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019)—7000 words; forthcoming
  3. Globalism’s Pre-History: Technologies of Modernism,” in The Cambridge History of World Literature, 2 Vols., ed. Debjani Ganguly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)—6000 words, contracted 21 December, 2017; forthcoming
  4. “Modernism and Technology,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Modernist Literature,eds. Ulrika Maude and Mark Nixon (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)—7000 words, forthcoming November 1 [ISBN: 978-1780936413]
  5. “Character,” in Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Literature, general editor Paula Rabinowitz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)—
  6. “Noises of Modernism,” in Sounding Modernism,eds. Helen Groth, Julian Murphet and Penelope Hone (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 19-34
  7. Projecting the Sixties: mediation and characterology in The Catherine Wheel,” in Rediscovering Again: Elizabeth Harrower, eds. Elizabeth McMahon and Brigitta Olubas (Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 2017), pp. 107-16
  8. “Short Story Futures: New Modes of Transmission,” The Cambridge History of the English Short Story, ed. Dominic Head (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 598-614
  9. “Poetry in the Medium of Life: Text, Code, Organism,” in Writing, Medium, Machine: Modern Technographies, eds. Sean Pryor and David Trotter (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016), pp. 208-223
  10. “A Desire Named Streetcar,” in Moving Modernisms, eds.Laura Marcus and David Bradshaw (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 275-88
  11. “Ineluctable Modality of the Sensible: Form and Poverty in Ulysses,” in Rancière and Literature, eds. Grace Hellyer and Julian Murphet (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), pp. 207-25
  12. “Lewis and Media,” in The Cambridge Companion to Wyndham Lewis, ed.Tyrus Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 160-71
  13. “King Kong Capitalism,” in Animal Life and the Moving Image, eds.Michael Lawrence and Laura McMahon (London: BFI, 2015), pp. 153-70
  14. “Protecting the Nothing that Happens,” in The Values of Literary Studies: Critical Institutions, Scholarly Agendas, ed. Rónán McDonald (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 105-19
  15. “Media,” in Literature Now: Key Terms for Literary History, eds. Sascha Bru, Ben de Bruyn and Michael Delville (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015)
  16. “In Theory: Stein and Film Philosophy,” in Gertrude Stein in Europe: Reconfigurations Across Media, Disciplines, and Traditions,eds. Sarah Posman and Laura Louise Schultz (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2015)
  17. “New Media Modernism,” in The Cambridge Companion to the American Modernist Novel, ed.Joshua L. Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 210-226
  18. “Cinematography of the Group,” in The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos, eds. Angelos Koutsourakis and Mark Steven (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp. 159-174
  19. “Modern Media Ecology,” in The New Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner, ed. John T. Matthews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 14-29
  20. “Faulkner in the Histories of Film: ‘Where Memory is the Slave’,” in Faulkner and Film: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 2010, eds. Peter Lurie and Ann J. Abadie (Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 2014), pp. 197-219
  21. “Towards a Gendered Media Ecology,” in Modernism and Masculinity, eds. Natalya Lusty and Julian Murphet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 53-70
  22. “Flann O’Brien and Modern Character,” in Flann O'Brien and Modernism, eds. Ronan McDonald, Sascha Morrell, and Julian Murphet (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014), pp. 149-162
  23. “A Loose Democracy in the Skull: Characterology and Neuroscience,” in Mindful Aesthetics: Literature and the Science of Mind, eds. Helen Groth and Chris Danta (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), pp. 189-205
  24. “The Media of Diaspora,” in The Blackwell Companion to Diaspora and Transnational Studies, eds.Ato Quayson and Girish Daswani (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013), pp. 54-67
  25. “France, Europe, The World: 1945-89,” Samuel Beckett in Context, ed. Anthony Uhlmann (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 126-138
  26. “The Cave and The Road: Styles of Forgotten Dreams,” in Styles of Extinction: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, eds. Julian Murphet and Mark Steven (London & New York: Continuum, 2012), pp. 109-131
  27. “The Novel amidst New Technology and Media,” in The Cambridge History of the English Novel, eds. Robert L. Caserio and Clement C. Hawes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 774-790
  28. “Postcolonial writing in Australia and New Zealand,” in The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature, ed. Ato Quayson, Vol. 1(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 446-483
  29. Diary of a Bad Year:Parrhesia, Opinion and Novelistic Form,” in Strong Opinions: J.M Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, eds.Chris Danta, Julian Murphet and Sue Kossew (Continuum Press, 2011), pp. 63-80
  30. “Literature of Urban Rebellion,” in The Cambridge Companion to Los Angeles Literature, ed. Kevin McNamara (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 101-110
  31. “Film and (as) Modernity,” in Handbook of Film Studies, eds. James Donald and Michael Renov (London: Sage, 2008), pp. 343-360
  32. “Alain Badiou and Cultural Studies,” in New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory,eds. Gary Hall & Clare Birchall (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006), pp. 147-160
  1. “Postmodernism and Space,” in The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism, ed. Steven Connor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 116-135
  2. “Fiction and Postmodernity,” in The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature, eds. Laura Marcus and Peter Nicholls (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 716-735
  3. “Multiculturalism and All That Jazz,” with Desmond King, in American Politics and Society Today, ed. Robert Singh (Polity Press, 2002)
  4. “Grounding Theory: Literary Theory and the New Geography,” inPost-Theory: New Directions in Criticism, eds. McQuillan et al (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), pp. 200-208

Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

  1. “Mineral Poetics,” Textual Practice33.1, Special Issue: ‘Anti-Humanist Modernisms’, ed. Guy Stevenson (September, 2019)—forthcoming, 9000 words
  2. “The Mortification of Novelistic Discourse,” The Journal of Beckett Studies26.1 (April 2017): 39-52
  3. “Rosa Plus Emma,” Filzofski vestnik13 Special Issue on Reason (Winter 2016-17): 201-12
  4. “Godard’s Stereopticon,” Screening the Past41, Special Issue on Late Godard, ed. Sarinah Masukor (December 2016)
  5. “A Modest Proposal for the Inhuman,” Modernism/modernity23.3 Special Issue: Inhumanism, ed. Aaron Jaffe (September 2016): 651-70
  6. “Aesthetic Perception and ‘the flaw’: Towards a Jamesonian Account of Late James,” The Henry James Review36.3, Special Issue on Jameson and James (Fall 2015): 226-233
  7. “On the Market and Uneven Development,” Affirmations: of the modern1.1 (2013): 1-20
  8. ‘Events listening to their own tremors’: Zukofsky and Objective Anachrony,” Textual Practice26:2, Special Issue: The Uses of Anachronism, eds. Helen Groth and Paul Sheehan (Spring, 2012): 707-727
  9. “Coetzee and Late Style: Exile within the Form,” in Twentieth Century Literature, Special Issue: Late Coetzee, eds. Murphet and Danta, 57.1 (2012): 86-104
  10. “The Mole and the Multiple: A Chiasmus of Character,” New Literary History, Special Issue: Character, vol. 42, no. 2 (Spring, 2011): 255-276
  11. The Wire and Realism,” Sydney Studies in English, Vol. 36 (2010): 52-76
  12. “Beckett’s Televisual Modernism,” Critical Quarterly, Special Issue on Modernism and New Media History, ed. David Trotter, vol. 51, no. 2 (2009): 60-78
  13. “Eliot’s Mechanism of Sensibility: poetic form and media change,” Literature and Aesthetics, vol. 18, no. 1 (2008): 31-42
  14. “P. T. Anderson’s Dilemma,” Sydney Studies in English, vol. 34 (2008): 63-85
  15. “Pitiable or Political Animals? Some notes on the ‘last humans’,” SubStance,Vol. 37, no. 3, Issue 117 (December, 2008): 97-116
  16. “Character and Event,” SubStance, Vol. 36, no. 3, issue 113 (September, 2007): 106-125
  17. “Hard Drives?” Writing Technologies, Vol. 1, no. 1 (April, 2007)
  18. “Postmodernism as American Studies,” Australasian Journal of American Studies, Vol. 25, no. 2 (December 2006): 65-76
  19. “Behind the Scenes: Animation and Postmodern Value,” Sydney Studies in English32 (2006): 143-165
  20. “The Mulatto: an unspeakable concept,” Working Papers on the Web, Volume 5 (2003)
  1. “Film Noir and the Racial Unconscious,” Screen39:1 (Spring 1998): 22-35
  2. “Identity and Difference in Anna Deavere Smith’s Performance Art,” Wasafiri27 (Spring 1998): 29-33

Reviews and other pieces

  1. Review of Keston Sutherland, Poetical Works, 1999-2015, in Chicago Review62.01 (Spring 2019)—3000 words; forthcoming
  2. Review of Annie McCallahan, Dead Pledgesand Jasper Bernes, The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization, in Affirmations: of the modernVol 5, no. 1 (2017)
  3. Review of Robert S. Levine, The Lives of Frederick Douglass, in AJASVol. 35, no. 2 (December, 2016)
  4. Review of Fredric Jameson, The Ancients and the Postmoderns, in Affirmations: of the modernVol 3, no. 1 (2015)
  5. “Steven Connor from Down Under,” Critical Quarterly, Special Issue on Steven Connor, ed. Joseph Brooker (2014)
  6. “No Alternative: On Vivek Chibber,” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary InquiryVol. 1, no. 1. (September, 2013)
  7. Review of Michael Wutz, Enduring Words: Literary Narrative in a Changing Media Ecology(2009), Review of English Studies(2010)
  8. “Whither Cultural Studies?” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 22, no. 5 (2008)
  9. Review of Jean-François Lyotard, Friedrich Nietzscheand Jacques Derrida(Routledge Critical Thinkers Series) in Literature and Aesthetics(June 2004)
  10. “Has September 11 Changed Literary Studies?” Australian Humanities Review
  11. Review of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay, eds. The Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, in Wasafiri13.27 (1998)