Dr. Laura Murphy  

Dr. Laura Murphy, an Assistant Professor of English and Director of African and African American Studies at Loyola University New Orleans, is also the head of New Orleans Human Trafficking Working Group, coordinator of Free the Slaves, and director of Survivors of Slavery Speakers Network. She received her PhD 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 also holds two MAs, one from Harvard University and one Syracuse University, and a BA from Louisiana State University.

Dr. Murphy is the lead researcher for Loyola’s Modern Slavery Research Project. Her first book, Metaphor and the Slave Trade in West African Literature (Ohio University Press 2012), examines the coded ways West African writers have memorialized the trauma of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. She is editor of a collection of first-person narratives of modern day slavery entitled Survivors of Slavery (Columbia University Press, forthcoming). Her other publications have appeared in Research in African Literatures, Studies in the Novel, The Journal of the African Literature Association and The Zeleza Post.

Dr. Murphy is originally from the West Bank and currently lives in New Orleans, where she leads the community-wide New Orleans Human Trafficking Working Group and Loyola University’s Survivors of Slavery Speakers Network, both which she founded. She is also the National College Chapter Coordinator for Loyola’s chapter of Free the Slaves and a board member at the Jefferson Parish Metro Center for Women and Children.