Art is more than just a picture for Associate Professor of Visual Studies Maura Coughlin, Ph.D.
"I want my students to think how different forms of art can have agency to change the world," she says. "I think that a lot my students come away from my art history or visual studies classes with more confidence in dealing with art, in that it's not so obscure."
"Arts and humanities ... are powerful ways of being in the world and making it better."
Coughlin's passion for art was recently recognized by the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, which presented to her its 2017 President's Award, which acknowledges extraordinary contributions to the organization and to scholarship in interdisciplinary 19th century studies.
"This association has provided me with new ideas about my research, teaching and scholarship. It has helped me to build many important networks with scholars worldwide." Coughlin said. "It was very meaningful for me to win this award because of their deep commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and collegial sharing of enthusiasm for research and teaching,"
Coughlin, an award-winning scholar and educator, has taught at Bryant since 2007. Her areas of interest include art and visual culture of 19th century France to Celtic coastal communities and mourning practices, as well as feminist art and theory, landscape, waste, and ecological art. She was instrumental in helping to create Bryant's Creative and Applied Arts concentration.
"Arts and humanities are a space for making change and contributing to the world," she says. "It's not just like the icing on a cake or a decoration in an apartment. These are powerful ways of being in the world and making it better."