Maureen O’Rourke Murphy is the Joseph L. Dionne Professor of Curriculum and Teaching in the School of Education, Health, and Human Services at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York. A past president of the American Conference for Irish Studies and a past chair of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, Murphy was one of the six senior editors of the prizewinning Dictionary of Irish Biography published in nine volumes and online by the Royal Irish Academy and Cambridge University Press in 2009. Murphy directed the New York State Great Irish Famine Curriculum Project (2001), which won the National Conference for the Social Studies Excellence Award in 2002; she was the historian of the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City. She is currently the historian, with John Ridge, of the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary/Watson House Project.
Murphy edited Irish Literature: A Reader (1987, rev. ed. 2006), with James MacKillop. She also edited Asenath Nicholson’s Annals of the Famine in Ireland (1998) and Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger (2002). She edited Annie O’Donnell’s Your Fondest Annie in 2005.Her biography of Asenath Nicholson, Compassionate Stranger. Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine was published in 2016.
Murphy has been awarded honorary degrees by the State University of New York at Cortland and by the National University of Ireland. She received the President of Ireland’s Award for Service in 2015.