Anne Murphy

Associate Professor
PhD, Columbia University
Department of Asian Studies

Anne Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and, for the 2016-17 academic year, a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC. Dr. Murphy’s research interests focus on early modern and modern cultural representation in Punjab and within the Punjabi Diaspora, as well as more broadly in South Asia, with particular attention to the historical formation of religious communities and special but not exclusive attention to the Sikh tradition. She is from New York City.

Previous research resulted in a monograph, The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2012), which explored the construction of Sikh memory and historical consciousness in texts and in relation to objects and religious sites from the eighteenth century to the present. She edited a thematically related volume entitled Time, History, and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Routledge, 2011). Dr. Murphy has published articles in History and Theory, Studies in Canadian Literature, South Asian History and Culture, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and others; she developed a theatrical script out of three original sources in Punjabi and English, woven into a single narrative, for a bilingual theatrical presentation to commemorate the centenary of the Komagata Maru incident in 2014.

She will work with local arts partners in Vancouver and artists in India in 2017 to begin development of a new theatrical work on the theme of the Punjabi qissa or narrative of Puran Bhagat as a Peter Wall Institute Arts-based initiative. Dr. Murphy has initiated an oral history program as a part of the Punjabi language and Punjabi Canadian Studies program in the Department of Asian Studies; results of this class-based program and her related research initiatives are available on the Punjabi Studies Blog.

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Scholars, Anne Murphy, 2016

Anne Murphy

The main focus of her research as a Wall Scholar is the movement for modern Punjabi as a language and a medium for literature in the Indian and Pakistani Punjabs and in the Diaspora (for which she received SSHRC Insight Development support 2013-2016), and the early modern history of Punjabi as a language. This latter topic was the focus of a 2016 Shastri Research Grant from the Shastri Indo Canadian Institute and will be the focus of her work as a visiting Fellow at Max-Weber-Kolleg at the Universität Erfurt, Germany from late May-July 2017, after her time as a Wall Scholar.

Arts-based Initiatives, Anne Murphy, 2016

Anne Murphy

Imagining a traditional Punjabi narrative in Vancouver: Creative workshop and performance.

This workshop, planned for the fall of 2017, is designed to help rethink what is between and what is within both South Asia and Canada, as experienced and expressed through the refractions of gender, race and caste, with attention to the specificities of these power formations in different locations and communities through an intersectional feminist analytical practice.

Local artists/writers will interact with guest artists and playwrights from Canada and India to produce a form of intercultural theatre that will explore a traditional Punjabi narrative and use it as the basis for an intercultural, bilingual (Punjabi/English) performance. Members of the South Asian artistic community will be invited to participate in the creation of new short works from this narrative and UBC theatre and literature specialists will be invited into the conversation.

Following the workshop, a performance will be scheduled based on the narrative and what emerged out of the conversation that will engage the public in discussion of social inequality and change today.

Early Career Scholars, Anne Murphy, 2008

Anne Murphy

Co-principal Investigator Awards

International Visiting Research Scholars, Rana Nayar, 2013

Rana Nayar
Anne Murphy


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