Dr Willa Murphy, who joined the University of Ulster in 2003, graduated with BA, Honours English, Brigham Young University, 1989; an MA, Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame, 1990; an MA, English, University of Notre Dame in 1993 and a PhD. English, University of Notre Dame in 2001. She has held research fellowships at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame (2011) and at the University of Limerick, she was a Research Fellow in Women’s Studies (2002).
She has lectured in English at N.U.I. Maynooth, and in Religious Studies at Dublin City University. In 2007-08 she was Visiting Associate Professor English at Hope College (Holland, Michigan USA).
Dr Murphy’s research focuses on the intersection of religion, culture and literary form in Ireland and America from the 18th century to the present. Her current project focuses on a remarkable but almost forgotten figure of the Enlightenment, Frederick Augustus Hervey (1730-1803), 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry. She is editing a collection of Hervey’s sermons for publication and has begun work on a full-length biography.
At Ulster, Dr Murphy has developed and taught modules on religion and sexuality in American literature and culture, on Irish women’s writing, and on 19th and 20th century American literature.