In Memoriam: Nora Clearman England, 1946-2022

Nora England, Dallas TACA Centennial Professor in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, died earlier this year. She was 75 years old and had suffered from cancer. She taught her last class two days before her death.

A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. England grew up on Long Island in New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology at the University of Florida.

Dr. England spent many years working in Guatemala, where she recruited Indigenous Maya, trained them as linguists, and worked with them to build a model of linguistics in which Indigenous scholars documented languages with and for other Indigenous peoples. She was the author of Grammar of Mam, A Mayan Language (University of Texas Press, 1983).

Professor England taught at Mississippi State University and the University of Iowa. In 1993, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

Dr. England joined the faculty at the University of Texas in 2001. There, she established and led the Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America in partnership with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. She was a long-time graduate student adviser for students in linguistics.

On May 31, 2019, Dr. England was honored for her 48 years of work on the preservation of Maya languages and training Maya linguists by the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and Sports at the Patio de la Paz (Peace Patio) in Guatemala’s Palacio Nacional de la Cultura.

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