Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy, special assistant to the Board of Trustees, received her MA in British Literature and her Ph.D. in Humanities from Syracuse University. Her field of study is composition theory, and she served as professor and chair of the Department of Writing at Ithaca College for nine years before coming to Hampshire College. Teaching and research interests include both research-based and creative writing genres such as the personal essay, the pedagogy of writing, and the relationship between writing and trauma: how effective expressive writing can mediate the effects of trauma.
In 1997 she received a research grant to study at the Cornell University School for Criticism and Theory, with her primary seminar - Psychoanalysis and Culture - presented by Jacqueline Rose. She participated in two accredited courses on psychological trauma for educators and medical professionals presented by Harvard Medical School in 1995 and 1996, with primary lecturers Bessel van der Kolk and Judith Herman. She is a graduate of the Higher Education Resource Services seminar for women in higher education administration at Wellesley College, 2002-2003.
She has published scholarly articles, personal essays, and poetry in such journals as Raft, the Journal of Poetry Therapy, and the Journal of Teaching Writing. Publications include two books, The Mind's Eye: Image and Memory in Writing About Trauma (University of Massachusetts Press, April 2007) and Writing and Healing: Toward An Informed Practice, with co-editor Charles Anderson (National Council of Teachers of English Press, 2000). Articles and essays include "The Four Women of the Apocalypse: Utopia or Dystopia" in an essay collection titled Dreams for Sale: Utopian Images and Narratives in Advertising, edited by Luigi and Alessandro Manca (Lexington Books, 2012); "Truth Trauma, and Justice in Gillian Slovo's Every Secret Thing," in the journal Literature and Medicine, June 2000; and several personal essays, including "The Journey," in a collection Teaching with Fire, edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner with an introduction by Parker Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 2003); "Witnesses Into the Future," in the literary journal Ararat, Summer 2001; and "Food for the Gods," in Ararat, Summer 1998. Current projects include a book that addresses post-genocide responses in her family and in the Armenian community and a personal essay textbook.