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Image by Henry Be


Hello! I’m deeply passionate about great storytelling, and for me this takes the form of teaching about stories, as a professor of Great Texts, Creative Writing, and Film at Baylor University, and also of making films and exploring the impact of new technologies on ways we learn and think about what it means to be human.

I’ve spent a lot of time digging around in old manuscript libraries and thinking about why people started sharing stories in the first place.  

I was born in Ireland and educated in France, prior to moving to the U.S. when I turned 18. I went on to study Philosophy and French at Auburn, where I spent a lot of time thinking about how critical thinking empowers us to be free and contributing members of modern society. Then, I went on to earn my PhD at Princeton, where I dug deep into some of the earliest stories of medieval Europe: from Celtic tales to the beginning of Arthurian legends about the Holy Grail, but also the place of faith in the writings of early Britain, France, and Italy.

With time, I also became interested in film & media as vehicles for modern storytelling and have been nominated for an EMMY for documentary filmmaking (writing and producing). My interests lie especially in the social impact space, and thinking about how filmmaking can bolster the fourth estate and foster critical thinking. You can peruse some of my short video content on this site. Most recently, I’ve been working on a film about Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 — and  quite possibly the largest, systemic failure of regulation and policy-making in U.S. history.

My work to date has played at major film festivals and has been acquired by PBS, LinkTV, and Netflix, and in 2018, I was recognized as part of the inaugural cohort of #50WomenCan Change the World in Media and Entertainment.

I’m the author of two books and a major translation project that I directed for the National Endowment of the Humanities: From Plato to Lancelot: A Preface to Chrétien de Troyes (2008), Basics of Story Design: Twenty Steps to an Insanely Great Screenplay (2017), and The Medieval French Ovide Moralisé (2023).

I enjoy speaking, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Previous engagements where I’ve spoken or hosted conversations include the University of Paris, Harvard, Princeton, Microsoft HQ, the Royal Palace of Spain, the United Nations, and the White House, SXSW, and during the Sundance Film Festival

SJ Murray. Story Expert.
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