Welcome to the virtual home of Moriah L. Purdy. Here is for a lot of things. Here is the point from which I axis.

I am currently a PhD student in the University of Pittsburgh’s program in Critical and Cultural Studies in the Composition and Rhetoric track, which I affectionately refer to as “graduate school part II,” as in 2010 I completed an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from George Mason University. My undergraduate degree is from Muhlenberg College, and just about all of my intellectual investments can be traced back to my four years at that wonderful liberal arts institution. I have been writing creatively since I was young, have more than a decade of Writing Center experience (first as an undergraduate tutor and then as an administrator), and have been teaching at the college level since 2008.

As a poet I’m invested in visual, procedural, constrained, eco-, and appropriative projects of inquiry, all of which depend on attentive and optimistic interactions with others’ texts. I see my interests as an artist and academic converging somewhere around rhetorical genre studies and textual studies. In my research, I think a lot about individual’s affective attachments to texts (both read and invented), and the ways in which genres might be considered as less a product of discrete (or even overlapping) discourse communities, but more like inventive commons. Since I’m interested in communities of circulation and of use, digital arenas have been and will continue to be particularly exciting sites for my research.

I am currently teaching Seminar in Composition (one of Pitt’s first-year composition courses) through this year’s staff syllabus, with Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love as a shared course text as lens to critical inquiry. You can witness/engage with my students blogging at https://makingwithlanguagepittscfall2014.wordpress.com to see what we’re up to and get a sense of the course. In a future semester or summer I will be teaching a version of Seminar in Composition themed around “Where Good Ideas Come From,” with readings from a variety of genres focused on the ways in which individuals describe/study/interrogate methodologies of inquiry and invention as a means not only to think about how students themselves invent ideas, but the ways in which writers (themselves and others) construct and are constructed by genre.

Many thoughts begin here at the blog and go off to be better articulated elsewhere, particularly in poem and in my classroom(s)… here is for beginnings. Since starting my PhD studies in the fall of 2013 I have been woefully short on time for general blogging. As such, things are a bit in transition here, as I’m moving the site from a primarily blog-feel to a website-with-blog-component-feel. A start at a teaching portfolio on this site is forthcoming. Revision, as always, is ongoing.

DISCLAIMER: Most blog entry titles are derived from definitions via The Oxford English Dictionary.

Please see my curriculum vitae and the other site pages for more things, or feel free to contact me.