My current research focuses on ecological histories and visual representations of coastal communities and rural life in Normandy, Brittany and greater Atlantic France.  In 2019, my co-edited book, Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture was published by Routledge and I have recently published articles on the marine painter Elodie La Villette and the Brittany-based photography of the Geniaux brothers.  As Professor of Visual Studies in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University in Smithfield RI, I teach courses in art history and the environmental humanities.  I am currently serving as Vice President of the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.


Ph.D. 2001, History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Dissertation: “The Artistic Origins of the French Peasant-Painter. Jean-François Millet: Between Normandy and Barbizon.”  Committee members:  Linda Nochlin (chair), Robert L. Herbert, Robert Rosenblum.

M.A. 1994, History of Art, Tufts University
B.A. 1990, English and History of Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Other Publications

Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture. Co-edited with Emily Gephart.  Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies Series,  September 2019.

Contributor to the exhibition catalog, Charles &Paul Géniaux: la Photographie, un Destin. Ed. Laurence Prod’homme, Locus solus and Musée de Bretagne, Rennes, October 18, 2019.  ISBN 2368332669

“Elodie La Villette’s Ecocritical PaintingDix-Neuf 23.4 (December 2019). Spec. Issue: “Ecoregions.” Eds. Daniel Finch-Race and Valentina Gosetti.

“Death at Sea: Symbolism and Charles’s Cottet’s Subjective Realism Decadence, Degeneration and the End: Studies in the European Fin de Siècle” in, ed. Edited by Marja Härmänmaa and Christopher Nissen; Palgrave, December 2014.

“Sites of Absence and Presence: Tourism and the Morbid Material Culture of Death in Brittany.” Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape. Ed. Brigitte Sion. London: Seagull Books- Enactments, 2014.

“Place Myths of the Breton Landscape” Essay in exhibition catalogue Impressionist France. Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013. Eds. April Watson and Simon Kelly, St. Louis Museum of Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, 2013.

Celtic Cultural Politics: Monuments and Mortality in Nineteenth-century Brittany” Mysticism, Myth and Celtic Identity. Eds. Marion Gibson, Shelley Trower, Garry Tregidga. (London: Routledge, 2012) 130-41.

“Crosses, Cloaks and Globes: Women’s Material Culture of Mourning on the Brittany Coast” in Women and Things: Gendered Material Practices, 1750-1950.  Edited by Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin, Ashgate, 2009.

Roundtable on Teaching “Work” as an Interdisciplinary First-Year College Seminar.  Published by The University of Iowa in Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies Volume 1, Issues 12-13, pages 97-106.

“Barbizon Painters” in John Merriman and Jay Winter, eds., Encyclopedia of Europe: 1789-1914 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) 2006.

“Millet’s Milkmaids” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 2/1, Winter 2003.


“‘TERRES VAINES ET VAGUES’:  ECOCRITICISM and BRETON WASTELANDS in visual and literary representation,” Nottingham French Studies, Special issue :  ‘New Dialogues: Breton Literature as World Literature,’ ed. Dr. Heather Williams Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltiadd Prifysgol Cymru/ University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, July 2021 volume.

“Grief, Longing and Maritime Things” in Essays on the Nineteenth Century, Memory, and Modern Identity: Consuming Commemoration. Edited by Amanda Mushal and Kathy Grenier.  Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies, forthcoming 2020.
“Silver Salts: Realism and Materiality in a French photograph, c. 1900.”  In Eds. Rasmus R. Simonsen and Geoff Bender, Photography’s Materialities: Provocation, Invention, Subversion across the Transatlantic Nineteenth Century.  Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2020.

“Reading the Wrack Line: Atlantic Flow on the Brittany Coast.” in Eds. Kathleen Davidson, Molly Duggins, Sea Currents: Art, Science and the Commodification of the Ocean World in the Long Nineteenth Century.  Bloomsbury Academic Press, forthcoming 2020.

“Material Ecologies in the Geniaux Brothers’ Picture Archive of Brittany, c. 1900” in Ubiquity: Photography’s Multitudes. Eds. Kyle Parry, Jacob W. Lewis, Leuven University Press, forthcoming 2021.



Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Panel co-chair: College Art Association Annual Conference, 2021  ‘Cheap Nature’ in Visualizations of Transatlantic Exchange. 13 February, 2021.


“Ramshackle Aesthetics and the Erasure of Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Fishing Communities” in the panel ““On the Margins of Modernity: Images of misère and the Disinherited” Annual Conference, Society of Dix-Neuviémistes, University of St Andrews (UK)  22–24 March 2021.


“‘We do not live apart’: Millet, John Berger and the radical politics of rural life” half-hour paper at the symposium:  Jean-François Millet and Artistic Radicalism. Saint Louis Art Museum, April 18, 2020.cancelled during Covid-19 pandemic

NCSA Rochester: RADICAL CONVIVIALITY. (postponed to 2022)

Calling all collaborators! Do you find reward in working, teaching or writing with others? Do you foster collective innovation, play and creative exchange in your teaching projects? Do you use games, re-enactments, role-playing or staged pageants in your classes? COME ONE, COME ALL and share your experiences!

This round table invites participants who nurture the RADICAL spirit of conviviality in their academic work, coming together to brainstorm, to generate new models of collaboration, and to explore new teaching strategies in and beyond the classroom.



College Art Association (CAA), Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (NCSA), Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment (ASLE) , Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Peaked Hills Trust, Cape Museum of the Arts.

Maura Coughlin

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