Faculty Fast Five with Political Science and Public Policy Professor Anne Flaherty

In this week's edition of “Fast Five: Quick Q&As with Members of the Merrimack Community,” we talk to Anne Flaherty, associate professor and department chair, political science, in the School of Liberal Arts. Flaherty specializes in indigenous rights and politics. Her intellectual curiosity was stoked through international travel.
Merrimack News

Q1: How did you become interested in your area of research?
A: I studied at the University of Sydney during a significant time of reconciliation between aboriginal people and the Australian government. When I came back to the U.S. to attend graduate school, I became more aware of indigenous politics in our own country. I thought it was crazy that we’ve ignored hundreds of Native nations when it comes to politics.

Q2: What do you hope students will take away from your courses?
A: I hope they emerge with a sense of political awareness. A lot of students have an attitude of, “Politics don’t matter to me. It doesn’t affect my life.” I hope that they leave with a sense of not only how they are affected, but also how their choices and actions can have an effect on the broader political dynamic.

Q3: You teach a music and politics course with Professor Laura Moore Pruett. Tell me about it.
A: The music and politics course is truly interdisciplinary. Students work through musical elements, such as the composition and construction of music, and then address political dynamics – whether it’s how music is used in political campaigns or social movements. We cover everything from the music made by cloistered nuns in the Middle Ages to Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome” to contemporary songs that explore current events.

Q4: Are there any other research projects you’d like to explore?
A: I used to do work related to casinos, and I would love to get back into it. I have been tied up in a bigger project that relates to presidential statements on Native nations, but when it’s published I’d like to jump back into thinking about sovereignty and the dynamics related to casinos and their revenues.

Q5: What advice do you have for college students?
A: I would love for students to take a random class that just sounds fun. That’s one of the joys of college. Learn about things because they’re interesting. Try something new.


Related News

Headshots of Revs. Njuakom Romaric and Terence Ayuk.

Cameroonian Priests to Continue Faith Education at Merrimack College

By: Michael Cronin
The Revs. Terence Ayuk and Njuakom Romaric this fall will enroll in Merrimack’s Spiritual Direction graduate certificate program.
Photo of Laura Kurdziel at Merrimack's 2023 Commencement.

Psychology Professor Earns Merrimack College’s Highest Teaching Honor

By: Michael Cronin
Over the past seven years, Laura Kurdziel has worked to expand Merrimack’s Department of Psychology and its curriculum.
Photo of Lisa Perks running the 2021 Boston Marathon.

Merrimack College Professor Ready To Take In Boston Marathon Splendor

By: Michael Cronin
Lisa Perks, professor of communication, will toe the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on Monday, April 17, for the 127th Boston Marathon.