The Iris Murdoch Society was inaugurated in New York in 1986. Barbara Stevens Heusel, then a faculty member at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, organised and chaired the inaugural meeting, on December 29, 1986 in New York City, as a special session at the Modern Language Association’s annual conference. It was based at Kingston University until 2016 when it came to the University of Chichester, and is now run by the Research Centre. It has members across the world: academics, general readers and enthusiasts, and those personally connected to Iris Murdoch. It exists to promote her work, further her philosophical vision, and enhance and extend knowledge. There is an active online community connected to the society on Facebook and Twitter.
The Society originally produced the Iris Murdoch Newsletter (up until 2007) and now publishes the peer-reviewed journal Iris Murdoch Review, offering a forum for articles, reviews and notices, and which keeps members of the society informed of new publications, symposia and other news that has a bearing on the life and work of Iris Murdoch and her milieu.