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Kiana Murphy

Kiana Murphy




Kiana is a scholar-artist working to complete her dissertation entitled ”Speculative Black Girl Ethics: Reading Practices, Visual Culture, and the Urgency of the Present,” which explores how 20th and 21st century Black women writers and artists, such as Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Jaqueline Woodson, Gloria Naylor, Deborah Roberts, and Eve Ewing, speculatively re-narrate girlhood.

Her creative work, including short fiction and poetry, examines the effects of gentrification in Washington, D.C. on Black children’s imaginations and intergenerational healing between Black women. Kiana is currently working on a manuscript that explores representations of Black girls in comics, which is forthcoming for publication in Fall 2020.

Kiana also currently serves as the co-organizer of the Black Cultural Studies collective, a Black studies working and reading group based in Philadelphia. She also worked as an assistant curator for the Joanna Banks Collection and Exhibit in February 2020 at UPenn’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, which included Black women’s fiction and poetry, periodicals, cookbooks, and children’s books.


B.A., English and Sociology, The University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015)

M.A., University of Pennsylvania (2016)

Courses Taught

spring 2019

spring 2017