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Dr. Anne Murphy

Associate Professor


Department of Asian Studies

Faculty of Arts

Anne Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and co-Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research in the Institute of Asian Research. She is also Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Program Development with the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for 2018-9. Dr. Murphy’s research interests focus on early modern and modern cultural representation in Punjab and within the Punjabi Diaspora, as well as more broadly in South Asia, with particular attention to the historical formation of religious communities and special but not exclusive attention to the Sikh tradition. Her monograph, The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2012), explored the construction of Sikh memory and historical consciousness in textual forms and in relation to material representations and religious sites from the eighteenth century to the present. She edited a thematically related volume entitled Time, History and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Routledge, 2011), and has pursued her continuing interests in commemoration and memorial practices in a volume entitled Partition and the Practice of Memory (Palgrave, 2018) co-edited with Churnjeet Mahn (Strathclyde University). 

She has published articles in History and Theory, Studies in Canadian Literature, South Asian History and Culture, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and other journals.  As indicated on the list of “current ongoing projects,” below, Dr. Murphy is currently pursuing research on the history of the Punjabi language and the early modern and modern emergence of Punjabi literature, for which she has received major funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council from 2017-22. She also has established interests in Punjabi Canadian cultural production (see below for details on related projects); she is a cofounder of SACHA, the South Asian Canadian Histories Association ( She received the UBC Dean of Arts Research Award for W2017, was a Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at UBC in 2016-7 and, from May to July 2017, was a Visiting Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the Universität Erfurt, Germany. She will be a Directeur d’Études Associé (Associate Director) of L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris in June 2019.