Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Faculty & Staff Directory

Bren Murphy, Ph.D.

Title/s: Professor

Specialty Area: Gender Representation in Popular Culture, Rhetoric & Advocacy

Office #: School of Communication 217, WTC College of Arts & Sciences - Cuneo Hall 306, LSC

Phone: 312.915.6907

E-mail: bmurphy@luc.edu

CV Link: MurphyCV12.pdf


Bren Ortega Murphy has been a faculty member in Communication Studies at Loyola University Chicago since 1984. She later joined the Women’s Studies faculty and now holds a joint appointment in both the School of Communication and the Women’s Studies/Gender Studies program in the College of Arts & Sciences. She has taught numerous courses in both of these areas and in 1996 received the Sujack Award for teaching excellence. She has been the department chair for Communication, Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of Faculty Council, Director of Women’s Studies and interim Graduate director for Women’s Studies.

Dr. Murphy teaches is Community as Story. It uses children’s literature, specifically pictures books, as a means of understanding urban community and individual identities within that community

Dr. Murphy and her husband Chris Murphy, Director of Mission Formation & Pastorial Care at Loyola, have two children, both of whom graduated from Jesuit universities. The Murphy family spent a year at the Rome Center from 1998-99 where Dr. Murphy taught, Chris served as campus chaplain and the children attended Italian school.


Dr. Murphy earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

Program Areas

Rhetoric, Ethics, Gender Studies, Film Criticism, Children’s Literature

Research Interests

Dr. Murphy’s research areas include gender representation in popular culture, gender socialization, the glass ceiling phenomena, communication ethics, and service learning. In addition to numerous conference articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of Hegemony in the Unites States [with Lee Artz] and co-editor of Voices of Strong Democracy [with David Droge].

Professional & Community Affiliations

Outside Loyola, Dr. Murphy has held office in many professional organizations including the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender and the National Communication Association. She has served on numerous boards for academic journalism an nonprofit organizations. She has also been a corporate consultant to regional, national and international organizations, working throughout North America and Western Europe.

Courses Taught

One of the new courses Dr. Murphy teaches is Community as Story. It uses children’s literature, specifically pictures books, as a means of understanding urban community and individual identities within that community.  Ethics and Communication, Intro to Communication


Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence, OSCLG Creative Expression Award

Film Festival Awards for  A Question of Habit:  A Question of Habit: 2nd Place for Feature Documentary  – Queens International Film Festival, Remi Award – 44th Houston International Film Festival, Accolade Ward, BEA – Best Documentary

Selected Publications

She has written, directed and produced one radio documentary and two video documentaries, the latest of which is A Question of Habit: the image of women religious in U.S. popular culture, narrated by Susan Sarandon. Dr. Murphy is currently engaged in a 3-year international project on democracy, culture and Catholicism sponsored by the Joan & Bill Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage.


School of Communication · 820 N. Michigan Ave
Water Tower Campus · Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312.915.6548 · Fax: 312.915.6955
E-mail: LoyolaSOC@luc.edu

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy