It is with great sorrow that we share news of the death, on January 11, of Lionel Gossman, M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Emeritus. Professor Gossman, educated at Glasgow, Paris, and Oxford, rose through the ranks at The Johns Hopkins University and joined the Princeton faculty in 1976. He was Chair of RLL from 1991 to 1996, and although retired as of 1999, continued the energetic pursuit of his research interests. A world-renowned specialist of French neo-classicism and the Enlightenment, he was also a humanist scholar of extraordinary range, readily engaging in discussions of German intellectual history no less than of the epistemological status of literature, equally at home in debates about medieval ideology and deconstructive theory. His uncommon versatility and open-mindedness as a teacher and advisor earned him deep appreciation among both graduate and undergraduate students. He was beloved by his colleagues for his integrity, his wisdom, his generosity and unfailing kindness. Both personally and professionally, Gossman wrote a great chapter in the study of literature and the humanities at Princeton. To say that he will be sorely missed can scarcely do justice to his legacy.
Jan. 13, 2021