About

IMG_1342aI’m currently a PhD candidate in neurolinguistics at UCL, funded by the ESRC. My main areas of research are neurolinguistics, formal semantics, neural oscillations and their relation to the human computational system, and the oscillatory and genetic basis of language deficits. My doctoral research primarily explores the processing and formal properties of copredication, a fairly contentious topic in semantics which involves the application of two apparently incompatible properties to a single object or event: The sentence ‘The city was demolished and moved across the river’ sees ‘the city’ being predicated by ‘demolished’ (something which should only be applicable to concrete objects with definite spatio-temporal properties) and ‘moved across town’ (something which should only be applicable to abstract, and in this case ‘polity’ concepts). Somehow the brain creates these and other ‘impossible’ entities with (apparently) little or no regard for the physical world, which simultaneously be both abstract and concrete (‘The book was brilliant but weighed a ton’, ‘Lunch was delicious but took forever’).

I’m also the author of Unmaking Merlin: Anarchist Tendencies in English Literature (Zero Books, 2014).

“Elliot Murphy is a superb guide and analyst of the repressed and marginalised anarchist tradition in British culture. His fresh readings of both renowned and obscure writers and the historical political undercurrents with which they engaged will intrigue scholars and activists interested in politics and culture. The relevance of these concerns to our current neoliberal condition renders this a gripping and important book.” Anita Biressi, co-author of Class and Contemporary British Culture

“Murphy is remarkably erudite for such a young scholar. Though not even 25 years old, he zooms with apparent ease and familiarity from George Orwell to Friedrich Nietzsche to James Joyce to Christopher Hitchens … The book is wide-ranging, touching on a number of themes – including education, representative democracy, the New Atheism, corporate power, crime, and poststructuralism. Throughout, Murphy does a good job of showing that the popular association of anarchism with violence and chaos is deeply inaccurate. He shows that the central concerns of anarchists have always been self-determination, mutual aid, and an end to structural violence.” Tom Malleson, author of After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century

I write about British politics, neoliberalism, anarchist and socialist economics, anti-war and anti-austerity activism, Palestine, education, literature and related topics. I’m a representative for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and I run the Biolinguistics Facebook page with daily posts about the biological basis of language.

You can contact me at elliot.murphy.13@ucl.ac.uk or through Facebook and Academia.

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