Faculty Profile

Peter Wayne Moe

Peter Wayne Moe

Associate Professor of English and Writing

Email: moep@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2093
Office: Marston 228

Education: BA, Western Washington University, 2005; MA, Eastern Washington University, 2010; PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2015. At SPU since 2015.
Specialties: Composition, Rhetoric, Pedagogy

Peter Wayne Moe became interested in Composition while working at the Western Washington University Writing Center as an undergrad.  After graduation, he spent a few years as a court clerk. Deciding law wasn’t for him, he headed to Eastern Washington University for an MA and then to the University of Pittsburgh for a doctorate in Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric.

Dr. Moe's first book Touching This Leviathan asks how we might come to know the unknowable –– in this case, whales. As a part of this project, in summer 2020 he led 158 volunteers in hanging a whale skeleton in Eaton Hall.

Dr. Moe also publishes extensively on the teaching of writing. He is currently working on a second (as-of-yet untitled) book on reading, writing, and reaching, as well as co-editing a collection of essays titled Inventing the Discipline: Student Work in Composition Studies (forthcoming with Parlor Press). He has published in College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Teaching English in the Two-Year College, among other places. In close partnership with the Library, he co-directs the Research, Reading, & Writing Studio.

In addition to whales and pedagogy, Dr. Moe has written on baseball (here and here), the inherited language of prayer, the role of reading and writing in everyday life, and postcard writing.

With his wife and son, Dr. Moe enjoys trips to the San Juan Islands, cheering on their beloved Pittsburgh Pirates, and eating homemade pizza every Friday night. 

Dr. Moe's personal website


Touching This Leviathan

Oregon State University Press, 2021

Selected Publications

  • With Kyle Winkler. “How to Do Things with Incoherence.” Rhetoric Review, vol. 38, no. 2, Apr. 2019, pp. 219–31.
  • “Virginia Tufte’s Sentences.” Style, vol. 52, no. 4, 2018, pp. 385–403.
  • “Inhabiting Ordinary Sentences.” Composition Studies, vol. 46, no. 2, fall 2018, pp. 79–95.
  • “A Sequence for Teaching the Sentence.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 46, no. 1, Sept. 2018, pp. 70–83.
  • “Reading Coles Reading Themes: Epideictic Rhetoric and the Teaching of Writing.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 69, no. 3, Feb. 2018, pp. 431–55.
  • “Something about the Written Delivery of the Line.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 71–87.
  • “Breathing, Parsing, Praying.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 100, no. 2, May 2017, pp. 169–77.
  • “Of Tombs and Wombs, or, The Whale, Part III.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, Mar. 2015, pp. 41-60.
  • “Of Chiasms and Composition, or, The Whale, Part II.” Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy, vol. 65/66, fall 2013/spring 2014, pp. 88–107.
  • “Sounding the Depths of the Whale.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, vol. 21, no. 4, autumn 2014, pp. 858–72.
  • “What Works for Me, and for That Matter, for Us.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College, vol. 40, no. 4, May 2013, pp. 364–83.
  • “Revealing Rather Than Concealing Disability: The Rhetoric of Parkinson’s Advocate Michael J. Fox.” Rhetoric Review, vol. 31, no. 4, Oct. 2012, pp. 443–60.

Please see Dr. Moe’s CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Whale retrieval by a group of students and community members

A Skeleton Crew

Peter Moe, assistant professor of English and director of campus writing, leads effort to retrieve and reassemble whale skeleton

“The 16,000 lbs. whale was towed to Gig Harbor then hoisted ashore where students and volunteers spent seven hours flensing the whale (slicing the flesh and fat from the whale’s carcass). They buried the bones in manure so that nature could do the rest of the decomposing/cleanup work and leech oil from the whale’s bones.”

Read more about this project.