Sarah-Jane Murray

Associate Professor of Great Texts and Creative Writing

Murray2 Brooks College 159
Tel: (254) 710-7854

Link to biography at Livingston+McKay


  • Professional Program in Screenwriting, UCLA
  • Ph.D., Princeton University
  • M.A., Princeton University
  • Dipl., Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyons
  • B.A., Auburn University


  • Literature
  • Medieval Manuscripts and Technologies
  • Story Theory
  • Film-Making

Research Interests

Since 2007, Dr. Murray's academic research has focused on the fourteenth-century Ovide moralisé, a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses to which the anonymous author appended over 60,000 lines of philosophical and theological commentary. In 2008, she was awarded a Franklin Research Award from the American Philosophical Society to study the original manuscripts in Europe. In 2009, she won an NEH summer stipend for the same project, and again in 2010, the NEH offered her a place in an NEH research summer seminar to further explore the role of Aristotelian thought in shaping the commentaries of the Ovide moralisé. In 2011, the NEH selected the first English translation of the Ovide moralisé proposed by Murray for a $210,000 three-year translation grant.

Selected Publications


  • From Plato to Lancelot: A Preface to Chrétien de Troyes (Syracuse University Press, 2008). This book explores the origins of vernacular storytelling in twelfth-century France. Focusing on the influence of the Timaeus and the mission of the Myth of Atlantis in particular "that storytellers preserve history, and story, by committing oral tales to writing" the book examines the convergence of classical and Celtic sources in the Arthurian romances of Chrétien de Troyes.

Journal Articles

  • Dr. Murray is the author of over twenty peer-reviewed articles and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Le Cygne, the journal published by the International Marie de France Society.

Story Analysis and the Silver Screen

Beyond her academic interests, Dr. Murray serves as a story analyst for the major studios in Hollywood. Moreover, she has taught screenwriting and is a screenwriter herself. She joins an impressive list of successful screenwriters as an alumna of the UCLA professional program in screenwriting and studied under chairman Richard Walter.

She received writer and associate producer credits on "Primary Concern," a PBS documentary on the looming primary care crisis in health care in the United States (2013.) She is the writer and co-producer of "Ineffable," a documentary (in production) about the struggle to preserve the fine arts in America, also intended for broadcast on PBS.

In 2013, the International Academy of Visual Arts awarded her the Communicator Award of Distinction from over 6,000 entries worldwide. She has coached numerous writers (including two New York Times bestsellers) on the art of screenwriting, and is at work on several original narrative features of her own.