Daniel Murphy

Murphy Dan Photo Edit

A Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Dan completed his Ph.D. last spring after defending The Technics of Realism: Media and Social Reportage in Narrative Art After 1965. Dan’s research and teaching focus on twentieth and twenty-first century American fiction and film, media theory, digital humanities, and the media industries. His dissertation offers a techno-epistemological reassessment of social fiction and its perceived cultural work. By theorizing the relationship between media technologies and narrative techniques, the project offers a technical and sociological reading of cultural form. Focusing on a range of artists including Jenji Kohan, Don DeLillo, Kathryn Bigelow, Thomas Pynchon, and Rachel Kushner, and assessing texts such as Gravity’s Rainbow and Libra alongside Zero Dark Thirty, The Wire, and Orange is the New Black, the dissertation suggests a new critical idiom for describing how different texts oriented around the task of social reportage theorize the intelligibility of the social through its specific communication and/or documentation in terms of technological media.

Dan’s teaching focuses on contemporary literature, film and television, and critical media studies. For designing and teaching an elective English 200-level course for non-majors, called “Media and Cultural Crisis,” he won Notre Dame’s 2017 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. Dan has also taught multimedia writing & rhetoric for six quarters (at Western Washington University) and two semesters (Notre Dame). This semester, he designed and is currently teaching “ENGL 20751: Detectives and Reporters” at Notre Dame.


Recent Scholarly Activity


“American Futurism? History and Corporeality in O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape (1922) and Santell’s Film Adaptation (1944).” Eugene O’Neill Review Spring 2018 (forthcoming).

“Is or Are: The ‘United States’ in Nineteenth-Century Print Culture” (co-authored with Matthew Wilkens and Bryan Santin). American Quarterly March 68.1 2016

Jessica Jones and Gendered Ways of Seeing,” Popmatters.com March 2016.


Recent Conference Presentations

“Technophilia, Feminist Technics, and Rachel Kushner.” 2017 Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts. Arizona State University, November 2017.

Invited plenary lecture, “Of Apes and Men of Steel: History and Corporeality in O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape.” 2017 Eugene O’Neill Society Conference. NUI Galway, July 2017.

Invited to attend and present at the Princeton-Weimar Media Studies International Summer School, where Dan presented “Media-intensive Detection in Libra (1988) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012).” Princeton University, June 2016.

“The Epi-phenomenal Narrator: Dross and Technical Embodiment in Tom McCarthy’s Remainder.” The Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900. University of Louisville, March 2015.

"The Flying Apparatus in Selden Rodman's The Poetry of Flight and The Air-Men: Flight as an Embodied Medial Event."" Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), University of Notre Dame, October 12, 2013.

""The Correspondence of Dream and Film Rhetoric: Hyperreality and Space in Inception."" PCA/ACA, Washington DC, March 28, 2013.

“The Plantation as a Cinematic Apparatus: Mandingo and the Contest of Racialized Psychological Historiographies.” Graduate Scholar’s Week, Western Washington University, April 2012.


Postal Address
Department of English
356 O'Shaughnessy Hall
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556