Patrick Murphy

Patrick MurphyProfessor and Co-Director of Literature Program

305 Bachelor Hall
Oxford Campus


PhD, English Literature, University of Wisconsin, 2007
MA, English Literature, University of Wisconsin, 2001
BA, English, Denison University, 2000

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Old and Middle English literature
  • Medievalism
  • History of the English Language
  • Comics and graphic novels

Selected Publications


  • Medieval Studies and the Ghost Stories of M.R. James. Penn State University Press, 2017. 
  • Unriddling the Exeter Riddles. Penn State University Press, 2011.


  • "Teaching the History of the English Language with Comics," Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART), Spring 2021 (28.1)
  • "Robert Thornton, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and Cambridge University Library MS. Dd.11.45." Modern Philology 114.1 (August 2016). With Fred Porcheddu.
  • "Lay of a Last Survivor: Beowulf, Great War Memorials, and M.R. James's 'A Warning to the Curious." Review of English Studies 66 (2015), 205-22. With Fred Porcheddu.
  • "Amateur Error, Templar Terror, and M.R. James's Haunted Whistle." Philological Quarterly 92.3 (2013): 389-415. Reprinted in Short Story Criticism, vol. 214 (2015). With Fred Porcheddu.
  • "Eumenides and 'Newmenides': Academic Furies in Edwardian Cambridge." Forthcoming contribution to Brill's Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus. With Fred Porcheddu.
  • "The Manuscript of M.R. James's 'The Ash-Tree.'" Notes & Queries 61.4 (2014): 583-5. With Fred Porcheddu and Stephen Hopkins.
  • “Renovation and Resurrection in M.R. James’s ‘Episode of Cathedral History.’” Studies in Medievalism 22 (2013): 85-113. With Fred Porcheddu.
  • “The Antiquarian Diaries of Thomas Hearne and Mr. Poynter in the Fiction of M.R. James: Duty Unfulfilled.” English Literature in Transition 55 (2012): 339-60.  With Fred Porcheddu.  
  • Leo ond beo: Exeter Book Riddle 17 as Samson’s Lion.” English Studies 88.4 (2007): 371-87.
  • “The Riders of the Celestial Wain in Exeter Book Riddle 22.” Notes and Queries 251.4 (2006): 401-07.
  • Bocstafas: A Literal Reading of Exeter Book Riddle 57.” Philological Quarterly  84.2 (2005): 139-60. 

Work in Progress

Patrick J. Murphy's current book project is a work of graphic nonfiction: A Comics History of the English Language.