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Maura Coughlin

Maura Coughlin holds a PhD in the History of Art from New York University, a Master’s degree in Art History from Tufts University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and in English from UMass Amherst. She was formerly Professor of Visual Studies at Bryant University and is co-editor with Emily Gephart of Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture (Routledge, 2019). Coughlin is a member of the Vienna Anthropocene Network workshop “Towards an Ecocritical Art History” who will soon be publishing a volume dedicated to the theory and teaching of Ecocritical Art History. Her recent research and publications concern French Atlantic visual culture, wastelands, ecological commons, extractivism, cod fishing, salt and seaweed harvesting, coastal ecologies, and the rise of marine sciences in France. Works in progress include a study of French colonial dioramas at the 1900 Paris Universal Expositions, an essay on the repair and mending of peasant clothing in visual culture, and a co-edited collection of essays exploring extractive 19th-century visual culture in North America. She co-chairs an interest group devoted to Ecocritical Visual Culture for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE).

Research/Publications Highlights

Co-editor with Emily Gephart of Ecocriticism and The Anthropocene in Nineteenth Century Art and Visual Culture. Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies Series, 2019.

‘“We do not live apart”: John Berger and the Radical Politics of Rural Life’” Études britanniques contemporaines, 65 | 2023, 1 October 2023,

“Why Look at Dead Animals?” in NOTORIOUS, a special issue of Curator: The Museum Journal. 18 July 2023

“Wrack Line Design: Seaweed in Visual Culture and Amateur Science in France” in Naomi Slipp and Maura Coughlin, A Singularly Marine & Fabulous Produce: The Cultures of Seaweed. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2023. pgs 15-24.

“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, 2023.

“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, 2021 (peer reviewed).

With Emily Gephart, “Confluence: Painting Seawater Across the Nineteenth-century Atlantic.” in Picture Ecology, Ed. Karl Kusserow, Yale University Press, 2021.

“Silver Salts: Realism and Materiality in a French photograph, c. 1900.” In Eds. Rasmus R. Simonsen and COD Geoff Bender, Photography’s Materialities: Transatlantic Photographic Practices over the Long Nineteenth Century. Leuven University Press, 2021 (peer reviewed).

“Votive Boats, Ex-votos and Maritime Memory in Atlantic France” in Cultures of Memory in the Nineteenth Century: Consuming Commemoration. Edited by Amanda Mushal and Kathy Grenier. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies, 2020.

“‘Terres Vaines et Vagues: Ecocriticism and Breton Wastelands in Visual and Literary Representation,” Nottingham French Studies, 60.2. Special issue: ‘New Dialogues: Breton Literature as World Literature,’ July 2021 volume. (pgs. 175–191).

“Elodie La Villette’s Ecocritical Painting” Dix-Neuf: Journal of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes 23.4 (November 2019). Spec. Issue: “Ecoregions.” Eds. Daniel Finch-Raice and Valentina Gosetti.

“Biotopes and Ecotones: Slippery images on the edge of the French Atlantic” Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language. Special issue on Ecotones as Contact Zones: Reading Landscape Intersections, Summer 2015/16.


Art + Design


  • Ph.D, History of Art, New York University
  • Ph.D, Doctor of Philosophy, The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
  • MA, History of Art, Tufts University