American Philosophical Society
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402. Criticism: Arts and Letters[X]
1Name:  Dr. Ross Chambers
 Institution:  University of Michigan
 Year Elected:  2005
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402. Criticism: Arts and Letters
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1934
 Death Date:  October 18, 2017
Born in Australia and educated in large part in France, Ross Chambers first established himself as among the world's leading Nerval and Baudelaire scholars, then later became one of this country's most eminent theorists of narratology and the historical place of literature. Over his many years of teaching at the University of Michigan, where he was Melvin Felheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Dr. Chambers became legendary for his role as mentor to younger generations of scholars. His generosity and critical acuity made him universally liked and respected. His work was known and cited in both the U.S. and France - he published regularly in both languages - and after his retirement from active teaching in 2002, he was more active than ever in the profession. To highlight a few of his many books: Meaning and Meaningfulness carefully investigates the way texts create and readers activate meanings; Story and Situation contributes importantly to the study of narrative, and particularly the communicative situations activated by narrative; Mélancolie et Opposition explores the beginnings of modernism in France in the wake of the Revolution of 1848, stressing the importance of textual context on the production of meaning; and Room for Maneuver posits reading as an "oppositional practice productive of change"; it demonstrates how literature simultaneously draws upon and opposes the authoritative texts upon which it depends. Ross Chambers died October 18, 2017, at the age of 84.
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