In Memoriam: Maria Rosa Menocal

Maria Rosa Menocal, Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University, died on October 15 after a three-year battle with cancer.

A native of Cuba, Dr. Menocal came to Yale in 1986 as an assistant professor of Spanish and Portuguese. She was promoted to associate professor in 1987 and was named full professor in 1992. Professor Menocal held bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees, all from the University of Pennsylvania.

At Yale, Professor Menocal was director of the Whitney Humanities Center from 2001 to 2012. She was the author of The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage (1987), Writing in Dante’s Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccaccio (1991), Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric (1994), and The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Christians, and Jews Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain (2002). In 2008, she was the co-author of The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture.

Richard C. Levin, president of Yale University, issued a statement which read, “María Rosa Menocal was among the most brilliant, creative, and original of Yale’s extraordinary scholars in the humanities. She was a humanist in the broadest sense of the term. She was passionate about all forms of human expression from literature, the visual arts, and politics to cooking, professional hockey, and the music of troubadours from medieval Provence and al-Andalus to Bob Dylan. Her passions inspired and energized her students and colleagues.”

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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