Professor Laura Murray
Office: Watson 534
Office Hours: Thurs. 10:00–12:00
Primary: Copyright law and theory; American literature, media, and popular culture, especially before the Civil War; history of the book and the newspaper; history of reading. Secondary: Literature of exploration and colonization, Indigenous literature and culture. Overall: Interdisciplinary methodologies, pedagogy, nonacademic presentation of academic work.
- “Reading New York Dailies Against the Grain: The Case of Almira C. Loveland,” Mémoires du Livre/Studies in Book Culture 3.2 (2012) <read online>.
- “Copyright and Communication Rights in Canada,” Media Divides: Communication Rights and the Right to Communicate in Canada, ed. Marc Raboy and Jeremy Shtern (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010) 196–218.
- “Reproductive Technologies: Flesh, Paint, Text,” No More Potlucks 4 (2009) <read online>.
- “See you in Court: Can Canadians Practice Parody?” with Craig Berggold, FUSE Magazine 32.2, March 2009: 12–17.
- Rev. of RiP: A Remix Manifesto, by Brett Gaylor, Culture Machine June 2009 <read online>.
With Tina Piper and Kirsty Robertson, Professor Murray is completing Putting Intellectual Property in its Place: Rights Discourses, Creative Labour, and the Everyday, forthcoming with Oxford University Press. The book shows how creative communities are regulated more through practice than through rules; it proceeds through a collection of case studies, of which hers concern newspapers in antebellum United States and visual artists in present-day Kingston, Ontario. In the wake of major legal reform and Supreme Court cases, 2013 will also see a second edition of Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide for Between the Lines Press with coauthor Sam Trosow. A project on the changing iconography of the newspaper in US from the eighteenth-century on is in the early stages of gestation. Professor Murray’s research methods include interviewing, archival work, and internet browsing as well as reading and rereading or a range of kinds of texts (literary, policy, etc.); theoretically she is engaged at present with ideas of alienated and affective labour as they pertain to artistic production today; theories of community and creativity as inflected by medium, class, gender, and place; theories of reading; and (always!) theories of ideology.
Professor Murray teaches the core course on methodology in the Cultural Studies graduate program—a big and welcome challenge. She has also greatly enjoyed being one of the pioneers of the new first year undergrad course, ENGL100, which she looks forward to continuing to develop further over the coming years.
Professor Murray is interested in supervising graduate students in English or Cultural Studies with aspirations to rigorous interdisciplinarity, whether working in nineteenth-century US contexts, twentieth-century Indigenous or immigrant literatures, or present-day policy and theory. If you have thoughts of reading court cases through Bakhtin or talking about poetry to a parliamentary committee, you might like working with her. Over the years, she has been lucky to be able to hire research assistants from Law, Psychology, and Cultural Studies in addition to English, and the tutorial structure of ENGL100 has provided a welcome opportunity to work in a teaching team with graduate students.
Professor Murray serves on Kingston’s Municipal Heritage Committee, and with Jamie Swift she has developed walking tours of working-class, postindustrial, and immigrant Kingston. She is a member of the Swamp Ward Orchestra, which performs nationally and released its second full-length CD Tightrope in 2012 (www.swampwardorchestra.com).
Joyce Tracy Fellow, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Massachusetts, summer 2010; Fulbright Visiting Research Chair, Law & Society, New York University, 2006–7; Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Nishinomiya, Japan, 2003–4. Editorial Board, Early American Literature, 2008–2010. W. J. Barnes Teaching Excellence Award, 2002–3. Founder and author, www.faircopyright.ca, 2003–2010. Editor, To Do Good to My Indian Brethren: The Writings of Joseph Johnson, 1751–1776 (U of Massachusetts P, 1998); co-editor with Keren Rice, Talking on the Page: Editing Aboriginal Oral Texts (U of Toronto P, 1999).