Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
M.A. English Literature, University of Notre Dame
M.A. Creative Writing, University of Illinois at Chicago
16th- and 17th-century literature and culture, early drama including Shakespeare, political theory, early modern economics, performance studies
Professor Murakami specializes in the literature and culture of early modern England, especially drama, including the work of William Shakespeare. She is interested in early modern understandings of ethics, politics and performance, and in how these have shaped our knowledge and experiences of class, community, and authority. She is especially interested in early modern interventions by non-elite social critics, through creative engagement with popular genres, indecorous counterpublics, moral play, and lively commodities.
Her first book, Moral Play and Counterpublic, challenges the received notion that morality plays were simple medieval vehicles for disseminating conservative religious doctrine. On the contrary, Murakami argues that moral drama came into its own in the sixteenth century as a method for challenging normative views on ethics, economics, social rank, and political obligation. From its inception in fifteenth-century itinerant troupe productions, "moral play" fostered a phenomenon that was ultimately more threatening to the peace of the realm than either theater or the notorious market: a political self-consciousness that gave rise to ephemeral, non-elite counterpublics who defined themselves against institutional forms of authority.
Work in Progress
Murakami’s current book project―working title, Theater of Anarchy: Theatricality, Politics, and Spectacle in Early Modern England―tackles the intersections between early modern theories and practices of theater, and the development of radical politics in the seventeenth century, revealing the historical underpinnings of the recent “anarchic turn” in political philosophy. Examining a heterogeneous group of texts, Murakami is working to recover early modern anarchy’s importance as both the anarchic (or shared and contested) space of potentiality in scripted and unscripted performances, and in the political sense of anarchism, as a discarded but constitutive alternative to the classical liberal ideology it helped to circumscribe.