Brian Michael Murphy

Image of Brian Murphy

Brian Michael Murphy is a media archaeologist, poet, and essayist. In his work, he examines how media technologies, from taxidermy to digital photography archives, represent and reshape human experience.


Murphy’s first book, We the Dead: Preserving Data at the End of the World, will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in fall 2021. His essays and poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Narrative, Waxwing, Fairy Tale Review, Media-N, and in Italian translation in Ácoma. He is the Managing and Nonfiction Editor of the Northwest Review, and in the summers serves as Director of the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, a two-week, residential creative writing program for high school students, where he previously taught for a decade. His work has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Vermont Arts Council, the Tinker Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies, a radically interdisciplinary department at The Ohio State University, where he received the Presidential Fellowship and the Margaret Lynd Teaching Award.

Previously, Murphy was an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Champlain College, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at Miami University, where he was nominated for the Outstanding Professor Award and received a commendation from the Center for Teaching Excellence. He has also held numerous staff positions, including College Readiness Coordinator at The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University—a public, tuition-free early college high school—and Interim Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Capital University. Prior to becoming a professor, he co-produced and released two hip hop albums, Manifest Destiny and Black Fire. Murphy was a member of the faculty at Bennington for the 2018-2021 academic years. He was appointed Dean of the College from July 2021-June 2023 and also served as the director of the MFA in Public Action from Spring 2021-Spring 2022.

Selected Publications:

“The Memory of Teeth,” Kenyon Review, September/October 2018: 

“Love, A Hungry Gun,” Waxwing, October 2017:

“L’immagine digitale nel bunker,” Italian translation of “Bomb-proofing the Digital Image,” Ácoma: Rivista internationazionale di Studi Nordamericani, Issue on Archivi: storie, teorie, pratiche. Translated by Erminio Corti. Spring/Summer 2016.

“Bomb-proofing the Digital Image: An Archaeology of Media Preservation Infrastructure,” Media-N, special issue on “Art & Networks: Revealing, Critiquing and Composing Global Infrastructures--Part I: Hardware,” Spring 2014: