September 9, 1945 – November 19, 2021
The department mourns the loss of our colleague Joel Myerson. Joel joined our department in 1971 and, as a Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus, continued to work tirelessly among us right through to the end of his life. An elected member of the American Antiquarian Society and the recipient of a Guggenheim (among numerous scholarly honors and awards), Joel was a premiere scholar and editor of nineteenth century American literature. He authored and edited some 60 books, among them many previously unpublished works by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Joel’s generosity to the university, and to our department, was also tremendous. Thanks to Joel and his partner, and our former colleague, Greta Little, the university is home to his collection of more than 11,000 volumes of nineteenth century American literature and their collection of multi-cultural children’s literature from around the world. Joel also chaired our department from 1987 to 1990. He played an especially important role in democratizing the department’s deliberative procedures, including establishing our bylaws, in ways that continue to benefit us all.