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AAA Mourns Passing of Dell Hymes, Past President

We sadly report the passing of former AAA president Dell H. Hymes, who died Friday, Nov 13, 2009, at the age of 82. Hymes was Commonwealth Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of Virginia. Prior to retiring, he taught courses in linguistic anthropology, Native American mythology, ethnopoetics, and Native American poetry. He authored numerous publications, including Ethnography, Linguistics, Inequality: Essays in Education, 1978-1994 (1997), and Now I Know Only So Far: Essays in Ethnopoetics (2003). AAA will publish a full obituary honoring Dell Hymes in a future issue of AN.

A memorial gathering will take place at the upcoming AAA meeting in Philadelphia, on Saturday, Dec 5, 7:30-9:30 pm in Grand Ballroom III of the Courtyard Marriott. In addition to being a past AAA president, Dell Hymes was also a past president of the American Folklore Society and Linguistic Society of America. Additional reflections on his life and work can be found on Savage Minds, Jason Baird Jackson’s blog, Daily Progress, Philly.com and Language Log. Readers are welcome to post additional links in comments.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you for noting this very sad news about a very significant contributor to our field.

  2. I just now read about Dell’s passing. I have often thought about Dell and his family over the years since I was a grad student at Penn and his editorial assistant at the time his journal Sociolinguistics was launched. I hope to make it to the memorial service.

    Iles Minoff, Arlington, VA

  3. Dell was a great teacher, friend and colleague with whom I shared many wonderful times while he was at Penn and thereafter while at U of Virginia. His keen and insightful intellect along with his wonderful sense of wit and humor and very able leadership touched all who connected with him over the years.

    I shall miss him greatly. I am also sorry to write that I am currently in Australia and will not be able to share with you all who attend his upcoming memorial on Dec. 5 in Philadelphia.

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