Brian Murphy

Photo of Brian Murphy

Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies

Schapiro Hall Rm 116


B.A. Capital University
M.A. Ohio State University
Ph.D. Ohio State University

Areas of Expertise

Brian Michael Murphy is a media archaeologist and writer whose work cuts across disciplines and genres. In addition to teaching at Williams, he is a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. His research and teaching interests include theories of race and racialization, visual culture, data preservation, hip hop/sound studies, digitization, and ways that media technologies represent and reshape human experience.

Scholarship/Creative Work

Selected Publications

We the Dead: Preserving Data at the End of the World (University of North Carolina Press, 2022), also available on Audible.

Co-editor, with Kris Paulsen, Afterlives of Data, a special issue of Media-N (Spring 2023)

Introduction: The Afterlives of Data,” with Kris Paulsen, Afterlives of Data special issue, Media-N, February 2023

Hoverboards in the Metaverse: A Conversation with Asad J. Malik,” Afterlives of Data special issue, Media-N, February 2023

“Panic at the Library,” Lapham’s Quarterly, August 2022 (featured in “2022 in Review on Roundtable: The sixteen most read essays and excerpts on the Lapham’s Quarterly website this year,” Lapham’s Quarterly, December 2022)

“Data Storage is Reaching the Limits of Physics,” Wall Street Journal, August 2022

“The Bettmann Morgue: Cold Storage, Digitization, and Archives of Racial Violence,” in The Expanded Field of Conservation, edited by Caroline Fowler and Alexander Nagel, (Clark Art Institute/Yale University Press, 2023)

“Now Playing” (short story), liner notes for Spectacular Diagnostics, Ancient Methods (Amsterdam: Rucksack Records, 2021)

“The Future of Boys,” Fairy Tale Review, 2020 (nominated for Best New Poets 2020)

“Of Weapons,” Mississippi Review, Winter 2019 (nominated for Best New Poets 2019)

“The Memory of Teeth,” Kenyon Review, Sept/Oct 2018

“Plaster of Paris,” Narrative, June 2018, (Poem of the Week)

“Love, A Hungry Gun,” Waxwing, October 2017

“L’immagine digitale nel bunker,” Italian translation of “Bomb-proofing the Digital Image: An Archaeology of Media Preservation Infrastructure,” Ácoma: Rivista internationazionale di Studi Nordamericani, Issue on Archivi: storie, teorie, pratiche. Translated by Erminio Corti. Spring/Summer 2016

Press Coverage/Interviews:

“Our mad quest for immortality and the return of the National Book Festival” by Ron Charles, Washington Post Book Club, September 2022

“Could New Storage Techniques Preserve the World’s Plethora of Data?” Wall Street Journal Tech News Brief Podcast, August 2022

“When Is This? Brian Michael Murphy on Media Archaeology and Preservation,” In the Foreground: Conversations on Art & Writing Podcast, The Clark Art Institute, interview by Caitlin Woolsey, March 2021.

KR Conversations Interview, Kenyon Review Online, October 2018

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

Fulbright Scholar, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale,” Naples, Italy, 2021

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2020

Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, 2018-2019

Presidential Fellowship, The Ohio State University, 2013-2014

Professional Affiliations

American Studies Association

Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Board Member, Vermont Arts Council

Founding Board Member, Outpost

Previous positions include: Dean of the College and Faculty Member in Media Studies, Bennington College; Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies, Miami University; Interim Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs, Capital University; Director, Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop.