Graham Sustainability Institute

Virginia Murphy

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Lecturer III
  • Literature, Science, & Arts
    • Program in the Environment
    • Residential College
University of Michigan (U-M) (UM)

Virginia Murphy teaches and writes about environmental literature, environmental justice, and sustainable food systems. Her research interests focus on how we express our relationship with the environment in literature, narrative, and activism, as well as the myriad ways that our environmental problems present intergenerational challenges that are visited most acutely on poor and minority communities.

Professor Murphy also has a long-standing interest in how we promote sustainable food systems through the local food movement, community gardens, and more holistic approaches to agriculture. Her recent courses include American Writers and the Environment,
​The Literature of Environmental Justice & ​Social Justice; ​Corn in East Quad​!; American Environmentalism and the Frontier West; and Environmental Activism: Citizenship in a Republic.

Professor Murphy has acted as thesis advisor in areas of environmental sustainability, permaculture design and implementation, environmental justice, urban farming, and food security. She ​helped ​create and oversees the East Quad Garden at the Residential College and has served on the Residential College Executive Committee, the Program in the Environment Advisory Committee, and the East Quad Garden Committee.

In 2013, the Program in the Environment honored Professor Murphy with its annual Outstanding Instructor award. She is jointly appointed in the Residential College (Social Theory and Practice Faculty) and in the Program in the Environment.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

My work contributes directly toward solving the United Nations SDGs listed below. Learn more.

Quality EducationGender EqualityResponsible Consumption and Production


The affiliations listed below show engagement with the Graham Sustainability Institute.

  • General
    • Small Grant Recipient