Kaitlin M. Murphy is Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory graduate interdisciplinary program, Associate Professor of Hemispheric American Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and affiliate faculty in the School of Art, the Human Rights Practice graduate program, and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. Murphy currently serves as Faculty Senator and sits on the Executive Council of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. She has previously held leadership positions in the Modern Language Association, Memory Studies Association, and the Latin American Studies Association. Murphy researches and teaches courses on art and politics, memory, civil and human rights, and building and rebuilding communities and public spaces during and after conflict.
Murphy is the author of Mapping Memory: Visuality, Affect, and Embodied Politics in the Americas (Fordham UP), which interweaves visual and performance theory with memory and affect studies to theorize memory mapping as a visual and spatial strategy that has emerged in opposition to political discourses and visual economies that overlook certain subjects and human rights abuses. Her writing can also be found in Memory Studies, Genocide Studies and Prevention, TDR: The Drama Review, Journal of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Journal of Spanish and Latin American Cinemas, Human Rights Review, in various anthologies, and elsewhere. She is currently co-editing the Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism and the edited collection “Creative Interference,” which explores the interventionist and reparative labor of artists in neoliberal cultures of violence and corruption, environmental catastrophe, the global refugee crisis, and other ongoing processes of devastation. She is also currently at work on two book-length projects; the first of which is tentatively titled Future Histories: Memory, Violence, and Decolonial Reimaginings.
In addition to her academic work, Murphy works as a consultant in both English and Spanish in a range of areas, including the arts, civil and human rights, transitional justice and community-based reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction. She is a lifelong dancer and visual artist and loves curating exhibitions and making, seeing, and talking about art. Murphy received her PhD in Performance Studies and MA in Visual Culture, both from New York University, and her BA in Community Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz. In 2022, Murphy completed an executive education program in Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Research, Teaching, and Advising Areas:
Social, cultural, and critical theory, including visual culture and performance studies, memory, affect, decolonial theory, hemispheric American Studies and Latin American studies, violence and conflict, human rights, and social protest.
Kaitlin M. Murphy