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Campus Mourns Popular English Professor


UCR Mourns Popular English Professor

Lindon Barrett joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2007.

(July 15, 2008)

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Name: Bettye Miller
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Lindon Barrett

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — UC Riverside faculty, students and staff are mourning the death of Lindon Barrett, a popular professor of English who joined the university in fall 2007.

Barrett, 46, was found dead in his Long Beach apartment on Sunday, July 13.

Colleagues on campus are devastated by his death, said English department Chair Katherine Kinney, who had known Barrett since they were in graduate school together at the University of Pennsylvania. The department will hold a memorial service for Barrett in the fall.

"Lindon joined the department just last year, but many of us had known him for years," she said. "He embraced his new position at Riverside, bringing a personal warmth and passion to the department and his field of African-American studies."

Barrett was a brilliant scholar, Kinney said, who was finishing a major book on slavery's central role in the evolution of Western modernity.

"Lindon offered so much, personally and professionally, to the department, the campus and the scholarly field of African-American studies. He will be missed by friends and colleagues across campus and across the country."

Stephen Cullenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, said that "Lindon's death is a tragic loss. Lindon was a superb scholar and an engaging colleague. He had a real joie de vivre that inspired colleagues and students alike."

Barrett earned bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees, all in English, from York University in Toronto, the University of Denver, and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.

He specialized in 19th century and early 20th century African-American literature and culture. He wrote numerous journal articles and a book, "Blackness and Value: Seeing Double." He was completing his second book, "Racial Blackness and the Discontinuity of Western Modernity."

Barrett also served as associate editor Callaloo, a journal of African and African-American writing, from 1997 to 2000; directed African American Studies at UC Irvine from 2004 to 2007; and was a member of UCI's Critical Theory Institute from 1993 to 2007. He also served as a consultant to Steven Spielberg and Debbie Allen on the 1997 film "Amistad."

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