Remembering our Colleague Ihab Hassan

We are very sad to report the passing of Vilas Professor Emeritus Ihab Hassan, who passed on Thursday evening. Ihab was an influential literary theorist credited with coining the contemporary usage of the term “postmodernism.” A prolific writer, he authored 15 books and more than 300 articles on literature and culture.

Liam Callahan, a UWM associate professor of English, remembers Ihab for his love of words:

“He just loved words. He gloried in them. He was absolutely the youngest octogenarian I ever met. He would have been young at any age, for his language. It was like watching a talented woodworker or sculptor at his craft.”

Our thoughts are with Ihab’s wife Sally and son Geoffrey during this time. There will not be a funeral, and in lieu of gifts or flowers, the family would like friends to remember Ihab through gifts to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation in support of the College of Letters and Science Lecture in the Humanities.

Additionally, the College of Letters and Sciences will be holding a celebration of Ihab’s life on November 19 at 3:30pm in the Zelazo Center. More details will be released closer to the event date.

Read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s memorial to Ihab Hassan.