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Dr. Anne Murphy

Associate Professor

Asian Studies

Faculty of Arts

Research Themes: 

Language, Sustainability and Transnationalism

Anne Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and co-Director of UBC's Centre for India and South Asia Research. 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).  Her interests in memory and commemoration have contributed to her work with Churnjeet Mahn, University of Strathclyde, on commemorative practices related to Partition, which resulted in an edited volume entitled Partition and the Practice of Memory (Palgrave UK, 2018).  She has also 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. Dr. Murphy is currently pursuing research on the history of the Punjabi language, the early modern and modern emergence of Punjabi literature, and advocacy for Punjabi in India, Pakistan and the Punjabi Diaspora. She also has established interests in Punjabi Canadian cultural production, and has founded an Oral History Program for Punjabi and Punjabi Canadian culture and history.  (For more on past and current projects, and UBC’s class-based Oral History Program, see:

Research Interests

The historical development of the Punjabi language in the early modern period, in relation to other vernaculars in North India; exploring advocacy for Punjabi language in India, Pakistan and Diaspora locations (including British Columbia) and the literary commitments that accompany this advocacy.