Internationally recognized English professor Paula Blank died Sunday, August 21 at her home in Williamsburg. Blank had been working at the College of William and Mary since the early 1990s. Her death was confirmed by Provost Michael Halleran Monday morning in an email sent to students. No cause was reported.
Professor Blank, who had been at William & Mary since 1992, touched many lives on and off campus through her work as a scholar and teacher,” Halleran said in an email.
“Professor Blank, who had been at William & Mary since 1992, touched many lives on and off campus through her work as a scholar and teacher,” Halleran said in an email.
Blank was the author of two books, including “Broken English: Dialects and the Politics of Language in Renaissance Writings” and “Shakespeare and the Mismeasure of Man.” She was also published elsewhere. In 2014, she wrote an article for The Atlantic titled “Will Cisgender Survive?”
During her time at the College, Blank served as the Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English and was awarded for her contributions to the English language both at the College and elsewhere. In 2010 she received the College’s Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence. In the English department, she had served as chair of both the personnel and undergraduate program committees. She also received fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the American Council of Learned Societies.
Counselors will be available in the Dodge Room at Phi Beta Kappa Hall today to assist those in mourning. They will be working from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Halleran said. Halleran will also update students with details on a memorial service once they are available.