Profile: Brian Phillips Murphy

Director of the Honors College and Associate Professor of History

Faculty
Department of History, Honors College

Research interests: early American history, political economy, history of the corporation, economic history, the history of New York City


Brian Phillips Murphy is the Director of the Honors College at Rutgers University – Newark and Associate Professor in the History Department.

Born in Paterson, Professor Murphy studied at Haverford College and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Before joining Rutgers in 2016 he previously taught at Baruch College, where he won a Whiting Fellowship for excellence in teaching and was a member of the faculty of the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York.

Professor Murphy is the author of Building the Empire State: Political Economy in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), which shared the James A. Broussard Best First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.  The book links the development of the business corporation to state formation in the early American republic by looking at the creation of banks and transportation enterprises by well-connected and financed political entrepreneurs. A portion of the book appeared as an article in the April 2008 William and Mary Quarterly. Titled “‘A very convenient instrument’: The Manhattan Company, Aaron Burr, and the Election of 1800,” the article won the 2009 Richard L. Morton Award from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

Professor Murphy is a member of the Board of Editors of the Gouverneur Morris Papers and has been a guest curator at the Museum of the City of New York.

He is currently a contributing editor at Talking Points Memo and has been an MSNBC Contributor.

Professor Murphy is currently at work on a book about corruption in American history and co-editing a volume of essays re-examining the Critical Period. He is also leading a public history project with the Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service to help develop the Great Falls National Historic Park in Paterson, N.J.