Ph.D., Harvard University; M.A., Harvard University, M.A., Syracuse University; B.A., Louisiana State University
Laura Murphy received her Ph.D. in African and African American Studies at Harvard University in 2008. Her research focuses on African literatures, historical and modern slavery, postcolonial studies, global literatures, and Black Atlantic cultures. She is the lead researcher for Loyola's Moderrn Slavery Research Project. Her first book, Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature (Ohio University Press 2012, winner of the African Literature Association First Book Prize), examines the coded ways West African writers have memorialized the trauma of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Her Survivors of Slavery: Modern-Day Slave Narratives (Columbia University Press, 2014) explores human trafficking through the first-person testimony of nearly forty people who have been enslaved in the last twenty years. She is currently working on a book titled The New Slave Narrative, a literary critical analysis of the reemergence of the slave narrative tradition in the late 20th century. Her articles have appeared in Research in African Literatures, Studies in the Novel, Genre, The Journal of the African Literature Association, College Literature, LA Review of Books, and The Zeleza Post. In addition to her academic work, she is the co-director of the New Orleans node of the Scholars Strategy Network, organizer of the New Orleans Human Trafficking Working Group, and the director of the Survivors of Slavery speakers network. She is also the director of African and African American Studies at Loyola.