Marjorie Murphy teaches courses on U.S. history, especially in the fields of working-class history, women and gender, and foreign affairs. Her other scholarly interest are in the history of the teachers union and educational reform.
Murphy earned her Ph.D. in History at the University in California at Davis in 1981, under the guidance of David Brody. She taught at Loyola College and Bryn Mawr College before coming to Swarthmore in 1983.
Professor Murphy's book, Blackboard Unions, came out in 1991. As Murphy describes it: "I worked on that book for ten years, yet in the year it came out, Forbes magazine launched another book that was probably written in one year and sent the author out for a big book tour. I was often invited as a 'counter' view, but it was fun because my book sold well and I met Bill Clinton at Renaissance Weekend in South Carolina when he was still Governor of Arkansas."