Scientia Professor Julian Murphet

Director - Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia
BA (Hons 1) USyd. (1992); MPhil USyd. (1994); PhD Cantab. (1998)
School of the Arts & Media


+61 2 9385 4521
Room 246C, Level 2, Robert Webster
Kensington Campus


Mondays 1-3 pm
Fields: Film and Television, Cultural Theory, British and Irish Literature, North American Literature, Literature in German, History of Philosophy, Philosophy
Tags: Languages and Literature

Current Projects

  • 'Chronotopes of Capital' – a study of contemporary spatio-temporal nodes in which late capitalism is being thought/presented, including Pleistocene megafauna, bacterial DNA, space art, high-frequency trading, and shipping containerization
  • 'Modern Character' – a comparative longitudinal study of the strange fortunes to have beset literary characterology between 1900-1940
  • 'The Project on Nothing' – on the cultural and aesthetic history of an idea
  • 'Poetry of the Future' – a project with Ruth Jennison on the convergences between communism and poetry today
  • 'E. L. Doctorow, remembered' – a project with Michael Wutz on the work of the late great novelist/essayist


Authored Books

  • Faulkner's Media Romance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • Multimedia Modernism: Literature and the Anglo-American Avant-Garde (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
  • Narrative and Media, with Helen Fulton, Rosemary Huisman and Anne Dunn, ed. Helen Fulton (Melbourne & New York: Cambridge UP, 2005)
  • Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho (New York: Continuum, 2002)
  • Literature and Race in Los Angeles, Cultural Margins Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001)
 Edited Books
  • Sounding Modernism, edited with Helen Groth and Penelope Hone (Edinbugh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017)
  • Rancière and Literature, edited with Grace Hellyer (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016)
  • Faulkner in the Media Ecology, edited with Stefan Solomon (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 2015)
  • Modernism and Masculinity, edited with Natalya Lusty (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
  • Flann O'Brien and Modernism, edited with Ronan McDonald and Sascha Morrell (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014)
  • Styles of Extinction: Cormac McCarthy's The Road, co-edited with Mark Steven (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2012)
  • Strong Opinions: J.M Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction, edited with Chris Danta and Sue Kossew (London & New York: Continuum Press, 2011)
  • Literature and Visual Technologies, edited with Lydia Rainford (Houndmills: Palgrave Press, 2003)
 Edited Journal Issues
  • Affirmations: of the modern (2013-)
  • Twentieth Century Literature, Special Issue: Late Coetzee, eds. Julian Murphet and Chris Danta, 57.1 (2012)
 Book Chapters
  • "Character," in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, general editor Paula Rabinowitz (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)—solicited, 10,000 words, forthcoming
  • “Modernism and Technology,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Modernist Literature, eds. Ulrike Maude and Mark Nixon (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)—solicited, 7000 words, forthcoming
  • "Noises of Modernism," in Sounding Modernism, eds. Helen Groth, Julian Murphet and Penelope Hone (Edinbugh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 19-34
  • "Projecting the 60s: Allegory 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
  • "Poetry in the Medium of Life: Text, Code, Organism," in Writing, Machine, Code, eds. Sean Pryor and David Trotter (Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, 2016), pp. 208-223
  • “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
  • “A Desire Named Streetcar,” in Moving Modernisms, Laura Marcus, David Bradshaw, and Rebecca Roach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 275-88
  • “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
  • “Media,” in Literature Now: Key Terms and Methods for Literary History, ed. Sascha Bru, Ben de Bruyn and Michel Delville (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015)
  •  “Lewis and Media,” in The Cambridge Companion to Wyndham Lewis, ed. Tyrus Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 160-71
  • "In Theory: Stein and Film Philosophy," in Sarah Posner and Laura Schultz, eds., Gertrude Stein in Europe: Reconfigurations Across Media, Disciplines, and Traditions (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • “New Media Modernism,” in The Cambridge Companion to the American Modernist Novel, ed. Joshua L. Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 210-226
  • “King Kong Capitalism,” in Animal Life and the Moving Image, eds. Michael Lawrence and Laura McMahon (London: BFI, 2015), pp. 153-70
  • “Cinematography of the Group,” in The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos, eds. Angelos Koutsourakis and Mark Steven (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015), pp. 159-174
  • “To Shelter 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
  • "Introduction," in Faulkner in the Media Ecology, eds. Julian Murphet and Stefan Solomon (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 2015)
  • “Modern Media Ecology,” in The New Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner, ed. John T. Matthews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 14-29
  • “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
  • “Flann O’Brien and Modern Character,” in Flann O'Brien and Modernism, eds. Ronan McDonald, Sascha Morrell, and Julian Murphet (New York: Continuum, 2014), pp.149-162
  • “Towards a Gendered Media Ecology,” in Modernism and Masculinity, eds. Natalya Lusty and Julian Murphet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 53-70
  •  “A Loose Democracy in the Skull: Characterology and Neuroscience,” in Mindful Aesthetics: Literature and the Science of Mind, Helen Groth and Chris Danta (London & New York: Bloomsbury, 2013)
  •  “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.
  • “France, Europe, The World: 1945-89,” Samuel Beckett in Context, ed. Anthony Uhlmann (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 126-138.
  • “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.
  • “The Novel amidst New Technology and Media,” in Robert L. Caserio and Clement C. Hawes, eds., The Cambridge History of the English Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 774-790.
  • “Postcolonial writing in Australia and New Zealand,” in Ato Quayson, ed., The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature, Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 446-483.
  • Diary of a Bad Year: Parrhesia, Opinion and Novelistic Form,” in Danta, Murphet and Kossew, eds., Strong Opinions: J.M Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction (Continuum Press, 2011), pp. 63-80.
  • “Literature of Urban Rebellion,” in Kevin McNamara, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Los Angeles Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 101-110.
  •  “Film and (as) Modernity,” in James Donald and Michael Renov, eds., Handbook of Film Studies (London: Sage, 2008), pp. 343-360.
  •  “Alain Badiou and Cultural Studies,” in Gary Hall & Clare Birchall, eds. New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006), pp. 147-160.
  • “Postmodernism and Space,” in Steven Connor, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 116-135.
  • “Fiction and Postmodernity,” in Laura Marcus and Peter Nicholls, eds., The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 716-735
  •  “Multiculturalism and All That Jazz” with Desmond King, in Robert Singh, ed., American Politics and Society Today (Polity Press, 2002)
  • “Grounding Theory: Literary Theory and the New Geography,” in McQuillan et al, eds., Post-Theory: New Directions in Criticism (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), pp. 200-208.

Journal Articles

  • "The Mortification of Novelistic Discourse," The Journal of Beckett Studies 26.1 (April 2017): 39-52
  • "Rosa Plus Emma," Filzofski vestnik 13 Special Issue on Reason (Winter 2016): 201-12
  • “Godard’s Stereopticon,” Screening the Past 41, Special Issue on Late Godard, ed. Sarinah Masukor (December 2016):
  • “A Modest Proposal for the Inhuman,” Modernism/Modernity 23.3, Special Issue: Modernist Inhumanisms, ed. Aaron Jaffe (September 2016): 651-70
  • “Aesthetic Perception and 'the flaw': Towards a Jamesonian Account of Late James,” The Henry James Review, Special Issue on Jameson and James (2015): 226-33
  • “On the Market and Uneven Development,” Affirmations: of the modern 1.1 (2013): 1-20
  • “‘Events listening to their own tremors’: Zukofsky and Objective Anachrony,” Textual Practice 26:2, Special Issue: The Uses of Anachronism, eds. Helen Groth and Paul Sheehan (Spring, 2012): 707-727
  • “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
  • “The Mole and the Multiple: A Chiasmus of Character,” New Literary History, Special Issue: Character, vol. 42, no. 2 (Spring, 2011): 255-276
  • The Wire and Realism,” Sydney Studies in English, Vol. 36 (2010): 52-76
  • “Beckett’s Televisual Modernism,” Critical Quarterly, Special Issue on Modernism and New Media History, ed. David Trotter, vol. 51, no. 2 (2009): 60-78
  • “Eliot’s Mechanism of Sensibility: poetic form and media change,” Literature and Aesthetics, vol. 18, no. 1 (2008): 31-42
  • “P. T. Anderson’s Dilemma,” Sydney Studies in English, vol. 34 (2008): 63-85
  • “Pitiable or Political Animals? Some notes on the ‘last humans’,” SubStance, Vol. 37, no. 3, Issue 117 (December, 2008): 97-116
  • “Character and Event,” SubStance, Vol. 36, no. 3, issue 113 (September, 2007): 106-125
  • “Hard Drives?” Writing Technologies, Vol. 1, no. 1 (April, 2007)
  • “Postmodernism as American Studies,” Australasian Journal of American Studies, Vol. 25, no. 2 (December 2006): 65-76
  • “Behind the Scenes: Animation and Postmodern Value,” Sydney Studies in English 32 (2006): 143-165
  • “The Mulatto: an unspeakable concept,” Working Papers on the Web, Volume 5 (2003)
  • “Film Noir and the Racial Unconscious,” Screen 39:1 (Spring 1998): 22-35
  • “Identity and Difference in Anna Deavere Smith’s Performance Art,” Wasafiri 27 (Spring 1998): 29-33
 Reviews and other pieces
  • Review of Fredric Jameson, The Ancients and the Postmoderns, in Affirmations: of the modern Vol 3, no. 1 (2015): 133-42
  • “Steven Connor from Down Under,” Critical Quarterly, Special Issue on Steven Connor, ed. Joseph Brooker (2014)
  • “No Alternative: On Vivek Chibber,” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry Vol. 1, no. 1. (September, 2013)
  • Review of Michael Wutz, Enduring Words: Literary Narrative in a Changing Media Ecology (2009), Review of English Studies (2010)
  • “Whither Cultural Studies?” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 22, no. 5 (2008)
  • Review of Jean-François Lyotard, Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida (Routledge Critical Thinkers Series) in Literature and Aesthetics (June 2004): 161-167
  • “September 11 Has Changed Literary Studies” Australian Humanities Review


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.

Honours and prizes

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, elected 2013

Scientia Professor, UNSW, elected 2015

Professional contribution

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).

Affiliations and membership

Member and Fellow: Australian Academy of the Humanities

Member: Australian Modernist Studies Network

Member: Modernist Studies Association

Related links

Related news

Other information

I am a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

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.