In Memory of Darryl Gless

Darryl GlessA memorial service for Darryl James Gless, Distinguished Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus. 

With great sadness, we meet the loss of our beloved Darryl Gless. Since joining us in 1980, Darryl brought to our department and the University a spirit of generosity and an unmatched ability to lead and create. His scholarship and teaching inspired generations of students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as recognized by his receiving a University Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1983 and the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Darryl also provided a vital voice for the humanities, and he translated that voice into action as both Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities. Darryl’s tireless work in defense of the humanities garnered the attention of President Clinton, who appointed him to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1994. Invaluable as a colleague, visionary as a leader, cherished in the classroom, Darryl embodied every aspect of what it means to be a person and professor. We celebrate his life even as we recognize just how dearly he will be missed.

Darryl Gless's family asks that memorial gifts be made to the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please send checks by mail to Arts and Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 6115, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-6115, with a note in memo line (or attached correspondence) that the gift is for the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund or follow this link to make a contribution online.

The family also requests that friends consider donating blood and platelets and register as bone marrow donors in his memory. The News and Observer has posted more details about Darryl’s life and achievements.

A memorial service for Darryl will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  

Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.




Critical Speaker Series: Alan Liu

Critical Speaker Series Presents:

Alan Liu, University of California at Santa Barbara

Co-Sponsored by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Talk: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 3:30 PM 

Toy Lounge, Dey Hall

“Key Trends in Digital Humanities: How the Digital Humanities Challenge the Idea of the Humanities”

Seminar: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 3:30 PM 

The Incubator, Hyde Hall 

“How to Be a Humanist in the Year 2030: Digital Humanities and the New Norms of Scholarship (A Prophecy)”


Alan Liu is Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  His books include Wordsworth: The Sense of History (1989); The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (2004); and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (2008).  Liu started the Voice of the Shuttle web site for humanities research in 1994. He is founder and co-leader of the advocacy initiative. Currently, he is leading the big-data, topic-modeling project titled "WhatEvery1Says" on public discourse about the humanities.

Events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kevin Pyon at or David Baker at

Thomas Browne and His World

Dr. Jessica Wolfe of the Department of English and Comparative Literature recently organized a conference at The Huntington, January 22nd and 23rd, on "Truth and Error in Early Modern Science: Thomas Browne and His World." As Dr. Wolfe notes, "Thomas Browne (1605–82) produced a diverse body of writings that reveal a cornucopian range of interests at once scientific and religious: burial practices and mortality (Urn-Burial), the geometrical patterning of nature (Garden of Cyrus), and the perpetuation of errors and falsehoods across various disciplines (Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or Vulgar Errors). Browne’s interests were not singular to him but emerged out of conversations with some of the most influential natural philosophers of his era—such as Bacon, Descartes, Boyle, and Hooke—as well as conversations with his many correspondents and figures from the medieval and classical past." You can read more about the conference here: 



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