The Professor’s Room – Linda Marangia
An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.
May 4, 2017
Over the course of 25 years at MSU Denver, Sociology Professor Linda Marangia has become an expert at navigating change – both institutionally and within a broader culture. It’s reflected in her public awareness-oriented courses, geared to helping students understand how pieces of social order come to be. And by inviting us into her office and talking about the interesting objects within it, we get a glimpse into her one-of-a-kind approach to looking at the world.
- This piece by Denver-based artist Bill Amundson of Kokopelli sipping a drink from Starbucks is a contemporary depiction of how Western culture has appropriated indigenous symbols; it’s social commentary on the commercialization of sacred objects.
- People ask, “What is it with all the witches?” I don’t call myself a witch, but over time people would give them as gifts; it’s rather nonconventional, and that fits – I like making something out of nothing. There’s some sort of magic or mystery behind the creative process. It’s almost a kind of alchemy.
- These leaf magnets are from a student who said “Think of the difference you’ve made every time you open up your filing cabinet.” They’re little symbols of work that is significant in the lives of students.
- When I first started at MSU Denver in 1992, I received this lamp for my office and didn’t like the shade color – so I painted it! I wanted to make it more aesthetically pleasing and create a more inviting environment for students. It’s followed me from building to building and office to office, so it has sentimental value for me.
- This multimedia piece comes from a student who was in my Social Action through the Arts class. It’s a commentary about interdependence and division of labor: though they can create wonderful things, the cooperation can turn to conflict at the drop of a hat. There are major sociological perspectives found in the piece (and the narrative hanging next to it).
- It wasn’t until later in life that I discovered that I really loved cats: They’re independent, mysterious, smart; they know how to work hard, play hard – and sleep hard! By forming a relationship with a cat, it helps us relax and calm down by taking our minds off ourselves. They’re really great teachers.
PS. Calling all faculty members…
Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our series? Just email Dan Vaccaro.