about.me.and.this.thing

OfficePic“I am a fragment, and this is a fragment of me.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 with a focus in Composition and Rhetoric, 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. As of the fall of 2014 I will begin teaching at Pitt, starting with Seminar in Composition (Pitt’s first-year composition course). Between graduate school parts I and II I served as the Writing Center Assistant Director at Washington College where I also taught in the departments of English and Education. 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 collage projects of inquiry. As a teacher and will-be composition and rhetoric researcher, I’m invested in how these terms might intersect with/complicate rhetorical theories of genre. I see my interests as an artist and academic converging somewhere around genre studies and textual studies. I wonder about how texts take on the qualities we recognize as a “genre” (or at least “genre-like”), including the material, visual, and diagrammatic natures of generic texts, and how conceiving of genre through procedural methodologies might inform our understanding of the ways genres function for individuals and communities. Having recently encountered some important work in affect studies, I am increasingly interested in the ways in which affect might play a role in how individuals identify and adopt antecedent genres and methodologies for their own purposes/points of inquiry, especially where direct appropriation, through citation or otherwise, is at play. In the classroom, my praxis intends to arrive at significant implications for writing pedagogy, particularly for first-year composition, and the ways in which students encounter and transform the genres of the academy and the world beyond.

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. 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.