Professor Richard (“Dick”) Macksey, Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, died on July 22, 2019, at an assisted living facility in Baltimore County, following complications from an illness. He was 87. Co-founder in 1966 of the Humanities Center, now known as the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature, and Director of the Center for over twelve years, Professor Macksey was an inspiring teacher, scholar, and institution builder. From the very start, our department has been committed to questions at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and aesthetics, and Dick epitomized this tradition in everything he did. For over three decades he developed and nurtured the Department’s thriving Humanities Honors curriculum, served as the longtime editor-in-chief of the comparative literature edition of our home journal, Modern Language Notes, shared his vision of the humanities at the School of Medicine, and mentored hundreds of undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members. He was incomparable–and will be deeply missed.
The Department of Comparative Thought and Literature is planning a memorial to honor Professor Macksey’s teaching and scholarship. More information about his life, scholarship, and legacy at Johns Hopkins can be found in this Hub article. The Dean’s Office is in the process of compiling remembrances of Dick from some of his colleagues and former students, which will be shared on university websites in the coming weeks.