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Villanova University’s 32nd Annual Gender and Women’s Studies Conference Welcomes Boston University’s Erin Murphy, PhD

Erin Murphy, PhD

VILLANOVA, Pa – Who can be a “combatant” or a member of the military? Biological gender is still often used to mark the boundaries of war, and war is used to mark the boundaries of gender. Even some feminist histories depict women as automatically outside or in opposition to war.

On Friday, March 25, Erin Murphy, PhD, associate professor in the Department of English and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, presents, “Amazons and Zombies: Margaret Cavendish’s Soldiers, Gender, and the Paradoxes of War,” as the keynote address for the 2022 Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference. Dr. Murphy’s talk analyzes the plays and proto-science fiction writing of Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) to consider how Cavendish drew on the new militarism of her moment, challenging the hierarchies of gender.

Dr. Murphy’s research and teaching interests center on the intersection of literature and politics, with primary areas of focus in seventeenth-century English literature—particularly John Milton and women writers—and gender and sexuality studies more broadly. She is the author of Familial Forms: Politics and Genealogy in Seventeenth-Century English Literature (University of Delaware Press, 2010). She co-edited Milton Now: Alternative Approaches and Contexts (Palgrave, 2014) with Catharine Gray, as well as a special issue of Criticism on the work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick with James Keith Vincent. Dr. Murphy is currently working on two book projects, Wartimes: Seventeenth-Century Women’s Writing and its Afterlives and Rude Reading: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the work of John Milton. With Sarah Wall-Randall, she co-leads the interdisciplinary seminar on Women and Culture in the Early Modern World at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center.

Dr. Murphy’s lecture is part of Villanova’s annual, day-long Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference. The conference will again highlight and celebrate research examining gender and sexuality produced by students from Villanova and other institutions in the area over the previous year.

The conference is free and open to the public, and the schedule is as follows:

8:45 a.m: Coffee, Bagels and Welcome

9:30-11:45 a.m.: Panels

12-1:30 p.m.: Complimentary Keynote luncheon (pre-register here).

1:30-2:15 p.m.: Panels

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Performance Showcase

3:30-4:00 PM: Cookies and Closing Remarks

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.