Dr. Sherra Murphy

I teach Critical and Cultural Studies in two programmes in the Faculty of Film, Art and Technology; Animation and Three-Dimensional Design, Modelmaking, and Digital Art. My modules are designed to help students develop an awareness of the broader culture within which their studio practice is situated, and to create flexible, thinking practitioners


The Natural History Museum, Dublin, 1840-1870; networks, culture and natural knowledge in mid-nineteenth century Ireland, PhD thesis, James Joyce Library, University College Dublin 2015
‘The Learned Gentlemen are in Town: the British Association Meeting of 1857 in Dublin’s Popular Press,’ in Science and Technology in 19th Century Ireland, eds. Juliana Adelman and Eaodain Agnew. (Dublin, Four Courts Press)2011
Five catalogue essays for Literary Lives: Portraits from the Crawford Art Gallery and Abbey Theatre, Ireland, published September 2010
‘They’re Not Going to Change it Are They? The Museum of Natural History Dublin as Material Culture,’ in Circa 1242008
Review of Dignified Kings Play Chess on Fine Green Silk, Karl Grimes, National Museum and Gallery of Photography, in Circa 1222007

Research projects

Originally trained as a painter with an emphasis on critical theory, my interests revolve around visual and material culture, the ways that images and objects behave as forms of information and exchange. As a cultural historian, my own research revolves around nineteenth-century cultural history in Ireland, especially in the areas of museums, natural science, print culture, and public discourses of collection and display. I am currently adapting my PhD research into a volume on the cultural history of Dublin’s Natural History Museum, showing its importance in networks of science and knowledge in nineteenth century Dublin, Great Britain and Europe.


Visualising Antiquarianism in Ireland, Humanities Institute of Ireland, University College Dublin, The Polymathic Antiquarian; George Victor DuNoyer’s Multi-Disciplinary Imagery2009
Science and Technology in 19th Century Ireland, The Royal Irish Academy, Dublin; The Learned Gentleman Are in Town; the British Association and the Natural History Museum in Dublin’s popular press, 18572009
Post–Graduate Research Conference, University College Dublin; Specimens and Specificity: The Collections of the Natural History Museum Dublin as Material Culture 2008
Seeing Things: Irish Studies and Visual Culture, University of Limerick; Drawing Ireland: the Visual Record and the Museum of Natural History Dublin2007
Re–Thinking the Everyday: Approaches to Material Culture, National College of Art + Design, Dublin; Reflections in the Necro–Zoo; the Natural History Museum Dublin as Material Culture 2006