My name is Keith Murphy, and I’m an associate professor of anthropology at UC Irvine. I’m a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist, and a fair amount of my work explores the relationship between language, material culture, and human experience. I’m really interested in the social, political, and cultural sides of design and designing, and in particular how collaborative designing unfolds in face-to-face interaction. I’ve worked with architects in Los Angeles and furniture designers in Stockholm, and I’ve written some things on all of this, including a book on Swedish design.
More recently I’ve been working on a project about graphic language — fonts, type, digitized writing systems, and more — and the communities of people who create it, use it, and support its existence in the world. You can read more about it here, and read some of the things I’ve written as a part of this project here.
In 2016 I won two teaching awards at UC Irvine: the School of Social Sciences Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, and UCI’s Professor of the Year, both of which I’m very proud of.
Some other things about me. I went to college at the University of Chicago and got my PhD from UCLA. I’m from Boston, which I talk about a lot, and I’m a fan of the Boston Red Sox, Nancy comics, punk rock, twee pop, and (mostly) avoiding social media.