Mary Ann Mahony received her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the College of the Holy Cross in 1976, where she was a member of the first class of women. She spent the academic year 1974-75 in the Saint Louis University study abroad program in Madrid, Spain. She received her M.A. in History from Tufts University in 1986, with a thesis on women in the Sandinista underground in revolutionary Nicaragua. She received an M.Phil. in History (1988) and the Ph.D. in 1996 from Yale University.
Dr. Mahony joined the faculty at CCSU in 2003. Prior to her arrival at CCSU, she taught at Columbia College of South Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, Yale University, the Universidade Federal da Bahia and the Universidade Estadual da Santa Cruz in Brazil. Since 2008, she has served as coordinator of the CCSU Latin American Studies Committee, which oversees the minor in Latin American Studies and the Latin American Studies concentration within the International Studies undergraduate major and master’s program.
Professor Mahony’s teaching interests includes the broad sweep of Latin American history, Brazilian history, the history of enslavement and freedom in Latin America, the history of export regions in Latin America, as well as social and cultural history. Her students have worked on topics as diverse as international adoption in contemporary Guatemala, Mexican-American identity formation in nineteenth-century New Mexico, Portuguese colonial policy toward indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombian social movements and Latin American immigration to Spain.
Professor Mahony has published in English, Portuguese and Spanish. She is now finishing a book tentatively entitled Horatio Alger in Brazil: Export Agriculture and Rural Social Mobility in Bahia’s Cacao Region. She just completed the translation of Crossroads of Freedom, by Brazilian scholar Walter da Silva Fraga, winner of the 2011 AHA Clarence Haring Prize, and under contract with Duke University Press. Her book reviews have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including the Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas and Afroasia. She has been interviewed on matters related to the history of slavery and cacao growing in Brazil, including on Democracy Now!, Bahian television and the Bahian newspaper, A Tarde. She has participated in numerous symposia in Brazil, the United States and Europe. She has received both Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships for her work.
Professor Mahony is active in professional organizations. She has been a member of the Executive Committe of the New England Council on Latin American Studies. In 2013 she chaired the NECLAS Dissertation Prize Committee. She has also chaired the Brazilian Studies Committee of the Conference on Latin American History, the largest affiliated society of the American Historical Association. She has served as a panel reviewer for fellowships with the National Endowment for the Humanities, and as a reviewer for the U.S. Library of Congress Kluge Fellowships. She has reviewed articles for publication for The Hispanic American Historical Review,Americas, Afroasia, and the Luso-Brazilian Review, among other scholarly journals.