Carnegie Mellon University

Richard Purcell

Richard Purcell

Associate Professor of English

Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall 259, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


Generally speaking my research explores the relationship between race and what Foucault called the processes of subjectification in the twentieth and twenty-first century. I teach courses in post-WWII and contemporary American literature, critical theory, African-American literature, film and popular music. I am currently co-directing the Listening Spaces Project with Professor Richard Randall in Music. I am the author of Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual Culture (Palgrave 2013). My current book project is tentatively titled "Laborious Fictions" and primarily looks at cinematic representations of creative and not so creative work in hip-hop from the 1970s until now.  On the back burner is another project that looks at the rise of the genome as a way to talk about musical filiation, affiliation and discovery in the late 20th century culture.