Part Six Looking Forward to New Challenges

In July of 2010, Dr. Maher accepted a position with the University of Minnesota-Duluth as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. (University of Minnesota Duluth) Although leaving UNO after nearly twenty years was bittersweet, Maher looked forward to new challenges. As Dr. Maher advises, “Expect to have a varied and unpredictable career path in this globalized world and know that knowledge of all kinds of things is probably your best ticket to a successful future.” Besides her duties at Duluth, Dr. Maher is currently working on a book titled Deep Map Country: The Literary Cartography of the Great Plains that is set to be published in early 2014. The book analyzes nonfiction writers of the Great Plains and the central and north plains, from Loren Eiseley and Wallace Stegner to modern writers William Least-Heat Moon, Julene Bair, and Linda Hassestrom. Dr. Maher categorizes the book as part of an environmental genre because she is focusing on a group of writers who write deeply about a particular place they love or have deep roots. According to Dr. Maher, the book “will provide a synthesis of these writers using theories of time and space developed by a number of literary theorists and cultural geographers.” Maher continues by stating, “Steeped in ironies of loss, these deep maps also serve to re-establish worlds that have been lost, to show us ways of honoring a diminished space, and to resist the larger culture’s neglect of the rural center of America.”

Dr. Maher’s early travels overseas as a young woman sparked an intense love of travel. Pictures from these numerous trips depict Maher in “her favorite, casual gear: Stetson hat, T-shirt, faded jeans, and cowboy boots” (“Dean”). As she continues to leave her imprint across the Plains, Dr. Maher’s imprint on the legacy of UNO will be felt for years to come. Combining her passions of literature, teaching, and travel, Dr. Maher certainly embodies the traits found in all of the women highlighted in the Women’s Archive Project.