In Memoriam

Sydney “Syd” Joseph Krause died at age 93 on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Ravenna, Ohio.

Syd was born July 22, 1925, in Paterson, N.J., to Isaac and Bessie (Cohen) Krause. Both worked in textiles—his father was a warper, and his mother was gifted as a cuff-setter.

A World War II veteran, serving in the Combat Infantry with the 4th Infantry Division, he fought in battles in the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge, where Sydney was wounded during the push against the bulge. After the war he went on to receive a bachelor’s at University of Missouri, master’s at Yale and a Ph.D. at Columbia. He went on to teach at Universities, Missouri, William and Mary, The Ohio State, Akron, and Kent State, where he was the primary American Literature Professor. He also completed Fulbright Professorships in Denmark and Germany, and guest lectures all over Europe.

During that time, he published over 40 articles in major scholarly journals on various authors such as Hemingway, Steinbeck and Twain and wrote a book with Johns Hopkins titled Mark Twain As Criticand a memoir in 2006 of his experience as a combat infantryman in WWII called Falling Out and Belonging: A Foot-Soldier’s Life. In his retirement, he went on to write Harding: His Presidency and Love-Life Reappraised, in 2013, and the novel, Mad Addie, in 2015.

His major contribution to the study of American literature was, however, as General Editor of The Novels and Related Works of Charles Brockden Brown: Bicentennial Edition. Between 1977 and 1987, he and Sid Reid, of the Kent State Institute of Bibliography and Editing, collaborated with their generation’s leading scholars and Kent State University Press to produce MLA-sealed critical editions of Wieland, Ormond, Arthur Mervyn, Edgar Huntly, Clara Howard andJane Talbot, and Alcuin: A Dialogue and Stephen Calvert.  Those carefully edited volumes opened up Brown studies in profound ways.

I will always remember my first visit, as a graduate student looking for a dissertation topic, to Kent State University. Syd generously handed me a dusty volume of the American Register and Brown’s annals and said “why don’t you try your hand with this?”  His support then and later was always generous.

Thanks for everything, Syd.

Mark Kamrath

Jeff Richards, a generous and friendly contributor to past Charles Brockden Brown Society conferences, passed away after an illness on Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, at age 62.

Jeff was a well-known figure in Early American literary studies. He held teaching positions at Duke University, North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Lakeland College, and Beijing Normal University, and for nineteen years was Professor and a Department Chair at Old Dominion University. Best known for his work on early American theater, through books such as Theater Enough: American Culture and the Metaphor of the World Stage, 1607-1789 (1991) and Drama, Theatre, and Identity in the American New Republic (2005), Jeff also edited, with Sharon Harris, Mercy Otis Warren: Selected Letters (2009), and produced numerous numerous essays and articles.

Many of us who encountered Jeff at Brown Society and other conferences enjoyed his intellectual acumen and ready sense of humor. Everyone who knew Jeff benefitted from his tremendous generosity and collegiality. His influence as a mentor was widespread and he was instrumental in the careers of many colleagues. Jeff was admirably young at heart; his contributions scholarly and convivial will be sorely missed at our future meetings.

Alfred Weber died March 23, 2006. He was 81 years old.

Alfred was the founding editor of the Charles Brockden Brown Electronic Archive and Scholarly Edition (now headquartered at the University of Central Florida), and a founding member of the Charles Brockden Brown Society. His patience, kindness, and interest in the work of other scholars made him an ideal mentor and friend. It was his dream to see the uncollected work of Charles Brockden Brown identified and published in a manner worthy of this genius of the early Republic.

By the time he initiated the CBB editorial project, Alfred was already retired from his position as Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Tübingen, Germany, which he had held from 1968 to 1990. Born in Berlin, Alfred started his academic career in Berlin and Tübingen, where he received his Ph.D. in 1953. After several years as a journalist, he held academic positions in Berlin and Heidelberg before assuming the chair in Tübingen. On his many visits to the United States, he held grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Association), and he held visiting professorships at SUNY Cortland, the University of Oregon, and the University of Northern Arizona. In addition to his pioneering work on C.B. Brown and the American short story, for which most of us know him, Alfred also wrote about 19th and 20th century English and American poetry (his dissertation was on T.S. Eliot), and on the relationship between literature and film. He was the founder of the German Film Archive for American Studies and directed an interdisciplinary research project on the history of documentary film in the United States.

After his last published essay appeared in 1997, Alfred spent the next eight years compiling a treasure trove of bibliographical and editorial materials that became the foundation of the current Charles Brockden Brown editorial and digital project. He never stopped working.

We will miss Alfred’s genial presence and kindly company at our meetings. I will miss his wonderful “Berliner” voice on the telephone that never failed to send cheer and encouragement. It was a pleasure to know him, and a privilege to be his friend.

Fritz Fleischmann