Dr Bernice M. Murphy B.A. (QUB), M.A. (QUB), Ph.D. (Dublin), F.T.C.D. Associate Professor; Lecturer in Popular Literature; Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate); Structured PhD Co-ordinator
My major teaching and research interests lie in the areas of popular literature and American horror and gothic fiction and film. I undertook my undergraduate and MA studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, and did my PhD on Shirley Jackson here at TCD. I held an IRCHSS Post-Doctoral research fellowship at Trinity from 2006-8 and was took up my post as a lecturer in the School of English in October 2008. I was made a Fellow of the College in April 2017. I am the current Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning (DPTL). I was previously School co-ordinator of the TCD/Columbia Dual Degree programme, as before that, Sophister head and Visiting Student co-ordinator.
I specialise in the study of place and space in American horror and gothic narratives. To date, I have published three monographs in this subject area: The Suburban Gothic in American Popular Culture (2009); The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture: Backwoods Horror and Terror and the Wilderness (2013) and The Highway Horror Film (2014). I have also edited (or co-edited) the collections Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy (McFarland, 2005), (with Darryl Jones and Elizabeth McCarthy), It Came from the 1950s! Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties (2011), and with Professor Stephen Matterson, Twenty-First Century Popular Fiction (2018).
My textbook Key Concepts in Contemporary Popular Fiction was published in 2017 and Lost Souls: Essays on Horror and the Gothic’s Neglected and Forgotten Personages (co-edited with Elizabeth McCarthy) appeared in 2016. Twenty-First Century Popular Fiction, which I co-edited with my colleague Stephen Matterson, appeared in 2018. Along with Elizabeth McCarthy, I co-founded The Irish Journal of Horror and Gothic Studies in 2006 and I co-edited the journal until 2012: I am now a member of the journal’s editorial board, as well as the board of several other journals and academic book series.
I am currently finishing up a new monograph on representations of California in American horror and gothic narratives. I received research funding from the Arts and Social Sciences Benefaction Fund to support this endeavour. I have also been working alongside editor Laurence Jackson Hyman as the academic consultant on the forthcoming publication The Letters of Shirley Jackson, which will be published in July 2021. In addition, I am in the process of co-editing the essay collection Twentieth-Century Gothic, along with my colleague Dr Sorcha Ni Fhlainn of Manchester Metropolitan University.
My undergraduate modules in 2021/22 will include American Identities and Pulp: Introduction to Popular Literature. I will also be teaching the Sophister options American Horror Stories: Narrative, History, and It Came From the 1950s: American Popular Fiction During the Cold War Era. I will be teaching on the M.Phil. in Modern and Contemporary Literary Studies and contributing to the UG modules Imagining the Contemporary: No Future and Cultures of Retelling.
I have presented my research at many national and international conferences, including numerous International Gothic Association (IGA) biannual conferences; the 2012 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual conference held in Boston, and the 2019 ASLE conference held at the University of California, Davis. I have given keynote addresses at conferences including the July 2018 IGA, the ‘Madness in Popular Culture’ conference held at Edinburgh University in May 2018, and ‘Folk Horror in the Twenty-First Century’ (Falmouth, UK, September 2019).
My current PhD student Janice Deitner is working on the Provost’s PhD Award funded project ‘Shirley Jackson: Beyond Hill House’. I have previously supervised PhD theses on the horror genre and child-related controversy, on representations of forests in the gothic, and on American eco-horror. In addition, I have supervised numerous M.Phil. and undergraduate dissertations. I am happy to respond to supervision inquiries from prospective research students interested in contemporary American horror and gothic studies. Queries from students interested in working on Shirley Jackson and related authors/topics are also welcome.
- The California Gothic in Fiction and Film (under contract with Edinburgh University Press), forthcoming.
- The Highway Horror Film. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
- The Rural Gothic in American Popular Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
- The Suburban Gothic in American Popular Culture, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
- (Academic consultant), The Letters of Shirley Jackson, edited by Laurence Jackson Hyman, Random House: New York: forthcoming.
- (Edited with Sorcha Ni Fhlainn), Twentieth Century Gothic (under contract with Edinburgh University Press), forthcoming.
- (Edited, with Stephen Matterson), Twenty-First Century Popular Fiction. Edinburgh University Press [Forthcoming, January 2018].
- (Editor, with Elizabeth McCarthy), Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic. North Carolina: McFarland, 2016.
- (Editor, with Elizabeth McCarthy and Darryl Jones) It Came From the 1950s: Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
- (Editor) Shirley Jackson: Essays on the Literary Legacy, North Carolina: McFarland, 2005.
- Key Concepts in Contemporary Popular Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.
Recent Book Chapters/Articles:
- ‘Psychoanalysis and the Popular Gothic’ (in) eds. Catherine Spooner and Dale Townshend, The Cambridge History of the Gothic, Volume 3, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021.
- ‘I Mean, I Told You Not to Go in that House’: Place, Space and the Reconfiguration of White Trash Monstrosity in Get Out. (in) ed. Dawn Keetley, Approaches to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2020, pp.72-86.
- ‘Contemporary Serial Killers’ (in) eds. Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes, Twenty-First Century Gothic, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019.
- ‘They Have Risen Once: They May Rise Again’: Animals in Horror Fiction (in) eds. Laura Kremmel and Kevin Corstorphine, The Handbook to Horror Literature: New York; Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp, 257-273.
School of English
Telephone: +353 01 896 2547
LinksResearch System URL
The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies