Ross Murfin

Ross Murfin

E.A. Lilly Distinguished Professor of English

Educational Background



An early interest in Thomas Hardy, his Romantic precursors and his Victorian contemporaries led me later to consider Hardy’s influence on a later, Edwardian writer, D.H. Lawrence. Subsequent studies of Joseph Conrad gave me the opportunity to edit a critical edition of Heart of Darkness, which in turn led to the creation of an entire series of theory-smart critical editions published by Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press. Currently, he is combining his interests in critical theory and 19th- and 20th-century British literature by writing a study of the way in which Romantic, Victorian and early-modern writers use, bend and break the evolving conventions governing quotation marks in order to create meanings that would otherwise be difficult to express.

Awards and Distinctions

  • Outstanding Administrator Award, Southern Methodist University, 1999
  • M Award for Outstanding University Service, SMU, 2003
  • Numerous outstanding teaching awards earned at various institutions

Selected Publications

  • Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence, and the Burden of Belief (1978)
  • The Poetry of D.H. Lawrence:  Texts and Contexts (1983)
  • Sons and Lovers: A Novel of Division and Desire (1987)
  • Lord Jim:  After the Truth (1992)
  • The Scarlet Letter: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism (2ed. 2006)
  • Heart of Darkness: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism (3ed., 2011)
  • ed. Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism (1989-2011)