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.