Brian Michael Murphy

Image of Brian Murphy
Director of the MFA in Public Action

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 writings have appeared or are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Narrative, Waxwing, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Media-N, and in Italian translation in Ácoma. He blogs about film, music, and media technology for the Kenyon Review, and is a Workshop Instructor in the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop. Murphy's research and teaching interests span media preservation, race theory, visual culture, digitization, and hip hop studies. He is currently writing a nonfiction book titled We the Dead: A History of Immortal Media in America. Murphy holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Studies from The Ohio State University, where he received the Presidential Fellowship and the Margaret Lynd Teaching Award. Previously, Murphy taught in the American Studies Program at Miami University (OH), where he was nominated for the Outstanding Professor Award and received a commendation from the Center for Teaching Excellence. Prior to becoming a professor, he co-produced and released two hip hop albums, Manifest Destiny and Black Fire. Murphy joined the Bennington faculty in Fall 2018, and became the director of the MFA in Public Action in January 2020.

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: