Professor’s Room: Matthew Maher, senior lecturer, History
An occasional series that explores the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting spaces.
September 16, 2019
Rock-star historian Matthew Maher began his teaching career at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1995, when it was still a college. His approach to teaching is inclusive and as diverse as his musical taste. Maher is a musician in a band called the Plastic Rakes, which is a part of the Denver Art Rock Collective and plays live shows around town.
In his tenure at MSU Denver, Maher has grown a large collection of gifts given to him by faculty friends and students that represent his interests in labor history, music and social-justice causes. For a full exhibit of Maher’s labor-history posters, visit his office in the Central Classroom.
- The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is a theatre in the Greek city of Epidaurus in the mountains. I have taken some students there to visit, and I think this is one of the most beautiful places. It is extraordinarily well-preserved and is the pinnacle of Greek amphitheater building.
- The Diversity Flag was commandeered from a colleague in the Art Department. It represents the American flag and the diversity of American culture. The MSU Denver community reflects the multicultural nature of our campus and society, many things integrated into a larger whole. I am cognizant of our diverse campus culture, and this flag includes the differences that occur in American society.
- Communist Party of Ukraine T-shirt was gifted to me by an old friend because I am a labor historian and I am on the Steering Committee of the Metro State Faculty Federation, the faculty union.
- Denver Art Rock Collective poster: I’m a musician and member of DARC, and for the 50th anniversary of the Who’s “Tommy,” we put on a production at the Walnut Room.
- African American history is American history, and I think they are one and the same. This poster reminds me to bring this (idea) into my teaching.
- A memorial wall of people who have passed away recently, including my mom, friend and two colleagues in the department. I think this is a reminder that life is impermanent and things are always changing. Even though I’m a historian – I don’t want to stay stuck in the past, but it’s important to recognize the people who are important to you.
- Tiny Ganesh, the destroyer of obstacles. I like to have this little statue to remind myself and my students of these challenges. Students and faculty have a lot of obstacles to overcome, so it’s good to have Ganesh in front of you.
If your faculty colleagues surround themselves with outrageous objects, alluring artwork or noteworthy knickknacks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Professor’s Room” to see them featured (or to nominate yourself).
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