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Publications in VIVO

Murphy, Kieran Marcellin

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Murphy's research explores the interactions between science, literature, and the arts in modern France, Haiti, and the Atlantic world. His work has appeared in Atlantic Studies, Angelaki, Modern Language Quarterly, SubStance, KronoScope, Loxias, La Revue des lettres modernes. Écritures XIX, Épistémocritique, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies/Sites, and artUS. He has recently completed his first book, Electromagnetism and the Metonymic Imagination (Penn State University Press, AnthropoScene series, 2020). His next book project, Science after the Haitian Revolution, explores the legacy of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) in the modern conception, production, and representation of scientific knowledge.


  • 19th c. French literature, science and literature, Haitian studies, Atlantic studies


selected publications


courses taught

  • FREN 1880 - The Zombie in History and Popular Culture
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Discusses the emergence of the zombie figure in the Caribbean and its evolution from colonial Haiti to present-day popular culture having passed through Hollywood. Through movies and literary, historical, and scientific documents, students will study critically how this mass-media icon came to represent deep-rooted anxieties about the modern world.
  • FREN 3200 - Introduction to Literary Theory and Advanced Critical Analysis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces important aspects of both classical and modern literary theory as an aid to reading and understanding literary texts. Covers theoretical works by figures ranging from Plato and Aristotle to modern French critics such as Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida in conjunction with selected literary works. Offers students more sophisticated means of understanding issues like gender, ethnicity, the roles of both author and reader in constructing meaning, the nature and functions of signs, and the relationship between literature and the larger society. Conducted in English, though French majors are required to read the texts in the original language. Required for students taking honors in French or Italian.
  • FREN 3500 - French Current Events: Conversation and Composition
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2024
    For students who have spent fewer than four months in a French-speaking environment. Focuses on presentations, debates, discussions, readings and written work.
  • FREN 3700 - French-American Cultural Differences
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Through readings, films, discussion and activities, students learn the defining values of their own country, those of France, and key differences between the two cultures. Taught in French.
  • FREN 4120 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Topics vary each semester. Consult the online Schedule Planner for specific topics. See also FREN 4110.
  • FREN 4990 - Senior Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Preparation of a 15-page research paper in French presented to two members of the department faculty and defended orally in class. Recommended prerequisite: at least one course numbered FREN 4100 or above and all third-year requirements and advisor consent.
  • FREN 5110 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021
    Different topics are offered and, in a number of cases, cross-listed with other departments. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics.
  • FREN 5120 - French Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2024
    Different topics are offered and, in a number of cases, cross-listed with other departments. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics.
  • FREN 5420 - 19th Century French Literature
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    A survey of principal works and movements, intended as an introductory course.
  • FYSM 1000 - First Year Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Provide first year students with an immersive experience in an interdisciplinary topic that addresses current issues including social, technical and global topics. Taught by faculty from across campus, the course provides students with an opportunity to interact in small classes, have project based learning experiences and gain valuable communication skills. Seminar style classes focused on discussion and projects.
  • HUMN 3093 - Topics in Humanities
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2022 / Spring 2023
    Students should check with the department for specific semester offerings. May be repeated up to 12 total credit hours, provided the specific offerings vary.


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