View the H-caribbean Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-caribbean's May 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-caribbean's May 2008 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-caribbean home page.
Professor Frederick Ivor Case by Gabrielle Hezekiah It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Prof. Frederick Ivor Case at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto on Saturday 10th May. Prof. Case joined the University of Toronto in 1968 and retired from that institution in 2006, moving to the University of Guyana in the same year. He was instrumental in founding the Caribbean Studies and African Studies Programmes at the University of Toronto and students and scholars in Canada and beyond have benefited tremendously from those pioneering initiatives. Fred was Chair of the Department of French from 1985 to 1990 and Principal of New College from 1991 to 1996. He also served as Coordinator and Associate Chair of Graduate Studies within the Department of French from 1982 to 1984 and from 1984 to 1985 respectively. His principal area of teaching and research during much of his career was francophone African and Caribbean literature and he supervised numerous dissertations in that field. However, Fred’s interests and expertise extended far beyond this. His doctoral research was on the work of Émile Zola and he was a key member of the Caribbean Religions Project at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University where he was a Fellow. He organized several conferences and events which brought together the university and the wider community. But Fred will be remembered for much more than his role as a scholar and administrator. He will be remembered by those he taught as a man of tremendous generosity, wisdom and integrity. Countless students have turned to Fred for guidance, inspiration and the sharing of ideas. Possessed of vast experience and a tremendous sense of humour, Fred was a compass through which one could navigate the treacherous waters of the academy and be reasonably assured of arriving with a sense of perspective intact. His scholarly rigour, his compassion and his genuine interest in the success of his students allowed him to approach supervision and advisory roles with clarity and the right measure of attachment. He was also there when they needed advice on the job search, the interview and the long road to tenure. Fred was both engaging and engaged. He was an expansive thinker who encouraged students to chart their own course and was delighted to learn from their scholarship. He was as interested in the literature of the Maghreb and the work of Aimé Césaire as he was in the Kali Puja and his work on educational reform in Tajikistan. It was from this that his students learned to make connections across fields of thought and experience. While the Caribbean and Africa were starting points, Fred’s journey covered a range of spaces – geographical, cultural and intellectual – that offered opportunities for thinking through the question of the human. Fred’s journey invites us to think about what it might mean to do scholarship in the humanities. His work within and outside of the academy was informed by a deep commitment to social justice, grounded in a concern for the human condition, for human possibility and for the structures which facilitated the fulfillment of that possibility. It all seemed connected by notions of dialogue, interaction and the transformation and remaking of human lives – across disciplines, communities and areas of interest. Fred gave of himself and his unique vision to undergraduate and graduate students alike, providing a framework for significant reflection and growth. And he did it all with humour, warmth and love. Prof. Frederick Ivor Case was a mentor, teacher, scholar and friend. The academic community is richer for his living and poorer for his passing. Those of us who knew him are immeasurably grateful to have had him in our midst. Gabrielle Hezekiah earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto in 2006 and is a member of Fred’s extended family. (15th May 2008)