In Memoriam: Janet Roebuck, 1943-2020

Janet Roebuck, a professor of history emerita at the University of New Mexico, died on July 5. She was 76 years old.

A native of Rotherham, England, she was the first member of her family to graduate from high school and college. The daughter of a coal miner, her childhood home had no electricity or hot water.

Dr. Roebuck was a graduate of the University of Wales. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of London in 1968. Dr. Roebuck joined the faculty at the University of New Mexico in 1969. From 1978-1980, she was president of the Faculty Senate. In 1980, Professor Roebuck became chair of the department of history. In 1989, Dr. Roebuck was named associate vice president for academic affairs, serving in this position until her retirement from the university in 1999. Throughout her career, she advocated for the advancement of women into the senior ranks of the faculty and into higher administrative offices.

Professor Roebuck was the author of several books including The Making of Modern English Society from 1850 (Routledge, 1973) and Urban Development in 19th Century London: Lambeth, Battersea & Wandsworth 1838-1888 (Phillimore, 1979).

Virginia Scharff, distinguished professor emerita of history at the University of New Mexico, described Professor Roebuck as “a great mentor, advocate, and role model for women professors at UNM. She supported my work from the beginning and showed me a lot about how to stand up for myself, women colleagues, the department, and the humanities.”

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