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. 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 methods/concepts 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”, 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, or, in other words, how they exist as or become creative commons. Having recently encountered some important work in affect studies, I am increasingly interested in the ways in which our affective attachments necessitate experimentation with respect to generic conventions and how individuals (developing writers, especially) identify and adopt antecedent genres and methodologies for their own purposes/points of inquiry.

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. Next semester 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.