Ashley Bowen-Murphy


For the past several years, I have been trying to make my interest in public health and health advocacy "talk" to my fascination with the late 19th century all while not abandoning my interest in Web 2.0 and other digital tools. Prior to arriving in Brown's American Studies department, I worked for a large public health research organization on their health equity and social justice projects. I managed the website for the award-winning documentary "Unnatural Causes" and an online community of social justice-oriented public health professionals. I also contributed to an online curriculum about the history of public health and social justice movements. In these positions, I learned just how difficult it can be to use new tools for "old" ends (e.g. teaching and networking). Health officials are a brilliant but overworked group. Using new technologies required a great deal of reassurance, support, and clarity of purpose.

I have a BA in art history from Reed College and an MA in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University. My MA thesis examined the culture and popular representations of Civil War reenactors-- I talked about everything from theories of living history practice to "South Park!"

On a personal level, I just finished the 8th season of the "X Files" and plan to slog through season 9 so I can say that I watched the entire series! It's been tough, but it needed to be done. Seasons 1-6 hold up really, really well.