Colleen Murphy invested as the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law


On October 6, 2021, the College of Law celebrated the investiture of Colleen Murphy as the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law. Verity Winship, professor and associate dean for Academic Affairs, provided welcoming remarks, followed by Vice Provost Bill Bernhard and Venetria Patton, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Murphy then provided an overview of her legal scholarship. A reception following the ceremony was held in the Peer and Sarah Pedersen Pavilion.

The Roger and Stephany Joslin Professorship in Law was established in 2011 by Roger and Stephany Joslin “for the benefit of future generations of faculty and students.” Colleen Murphy is the second recipient of the professorship. Roger, who passed away in 2014, worked for State Farm for 38 years, retiring as the chief financial officer and vice chairman of the board. He also led significant portions of the company’s civic leadership efforts, including chairmanships of the Neighborhood Housing Services and the Social Compact. Roger received his juris doctor magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1961. Stevie is a civic leader and philanthropist in the Bloomington-Normal community. 

Colleen Murphy holds courtesy appointments as a professor of philosophy and of political science, and she is the Humanities Research Institute - Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Legal Humanities. She is serving as the acting executive director of the Illinois Global Institute for the 2021-2022 academic year; and in fall 2022 she will return to serve as the director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in the Illinois Global Institute, a position she has held since 2013. Since joining the faculty at Illinois, Murphy has been a Public Voices Fellow and an associate of the Center for Advanced Study at Illinois, as well as a visiting professor at the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology in the Netherlands. Prior to joining the Illinois faculty, Murphy was on the faculty at Texas A&M University and held a Laurence Rockefeller visiting faculty fellowship at the Princeton University Center for Human Values.

Murphy is a scholar and teacher in the areas of moral, political, and legal theory. Her research focuses specifically on political reconciliation and transitional justice in response to entrenched injustice, and on the legal and ethical dimensions of risks. She is the author of The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which received the 2017 North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award and the Wayne R. LaFave Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship from the University of Illinois College of Law. She is also the author of A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press, 2010). Murphy is the co-editor of several interdisciplinary edited volumes, including Climate Change and its Impacts: Risks and Inequalities (Springer 2018), Risk Analysis of Natural Hazards (Springer 2015), and Engineering Ethics for a Globalized World (Springer 2015). She has also authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-review journal articles, law review articles, and anthologized book chapters in prominent venues including the American Journal of Political Science, Law and Philosophy, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Risk Analysis, and the University of Illinois Law Review.

Murphy is an associate editor of four academic journals (Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Journal of Moral Philosophy, and Science and Engineering Ethics) and serves on the editorial boards of Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Law and Philosophy, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, and the Palgrave Handbooks in the Philosophy of Law Book Series. She has received over $1M of funding to support her research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Qatar National Research Fund, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Murphy has delivered more than 130 invited lectures at universities throughout the United States and in 11 additional countries worldwide. She has also written or recorded more than a dozen popular op-eds and podcasts about her research for venues including the Boston Review, Chicago Tribune, The Conversation, and Ms. Magazine. 

Murphy holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

*originally posted on the College of Law website.