Coffey Receives Faculty Award for Teaching, Scholarship, Mentoring

Mary Coffey, resident expert on the Orozco murals, is honored for her teaching, scholarship, and service to the College.

Art History Professor Mary Coffey, interim LALACS chair, is one of fourteen members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences recognized for exceptional achievement in scholarship, teaching, and mentoring for 2020.

The awards, announced annually by the Office of the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences, include the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is given based on feedback from students. The other awardees were selected by the associate deans of the four arts and sciences divisions.

"These scholar-teachers represent the liberal arts ideal that is at the core of a Dartmouth education," says Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Elizabeth Smith. "Their commitment to teaching and their passion for scholarship makes their work in the classroom, laboratory, and studio the launching point for their students' lifelong learning and leadership."

Professor Coffey states, "I am an art historian whose research focus is Mexican muralism. At Dartmouth, I am the resident expert on Jose Clemente Orozco's mural, The Epic of American Civilization. Like Orozco, I explore the historical construction of U.S. America through its entanglements with Latin America. In that respect, I seek to understand how U.S.-based, ethnocentric narratives of "American" history contribute to the exclusion of Latino/a/x histories and experiences from our national imaginary."

"In the classroom I teach courses on U.S. American and Latin American art, and my goal is always to raise questions rather than to foreclose them with simplistic narratives. Over my career at Dartmouth, I have developed an experience-based pedagogy that involves students in the creation of knowledge. Their projects and perspectives have, in turn, reshaped my teaching and research. I believe that unlearning is a part of all learning, and that my students teach me as much as I teach them."