Biruté Ciplijauskaité (1929-2017)
Biruté Ciplijauskaité, John Bascom Professor from 1973 to 1997 and a lifetime senior fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities (from 1974 until her retirement in 1997), died peacefully on June 19, 2017. Internationally renowned and with a vast scholarly production betokening a breathtakingly wide-ranging expertise, Professor Ciplijauskaité was undeniably our department’s most distinguished and prolific member.
Professor Ciplijauskaité was born on April 11, 1929 in Kaunas, Lithuania. She attended Kaunas Conservatory (present-day Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), and fled Lithuania during World War II. She spent part of the war years in Germany, where she would go on to earn her baccalaureate from the Lycée Lithuanien Tübingen in 1947, while working in a factory. She emigrated to Canada on a work visa, where she worked as a domestic servant prior to resuming her university studies and receiving an MA from the University of Montréal in 1956. She earned her PhD from Bryn Mawr College in 1960, and in the following year was hired as an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Four years later, in 1965, she was promoted to Associate Professor. Her first book, La soledad y la poesía española contemporánea, appeared in 1962. In subsequent years, she sustained a consistently impressive rate of scholarly productivity. Her second book, El poeta y la poesía: del romanticismo a la poesía social, was published in 1966. It was followed by three new books in the 1970s: a monograph on Pío Baroja, one of the major writers from Spain’s so-called Generation of ’98, and two others, including what is to this day upheld as the definitive study on the poet and critic Jorge Guillén, whose extensive correspondence is now housed in the Special Collections of UW-Madison’s Library. In the 1980s, Professor Ciplijauskaité published three additional book-length studies: Los Noventayochistas y la historia (1981), La mujer insatisfecha: el adulterio en la novela realista (1984), and La novela femenina contemporánea 1970-1985: hacia una tipología de la narración en primera persona (1988). Before retiring in 1997, she authored a study of contemporary Lithuanian literature, Literatūros eskizai, [Literary Sketches] (1992), written in Lithuanian and published in Vilnius. Indeed, she remained until her death, a member of the Advisory Board for Lituanus, an English language quarterly journal dedicated to Lithuanian and Baltic languages, linguistics, political science, arts, history, literature, and related topics. Retirement did not by any means signal a lull in Professor Ciplijauskaité’s prolific academic productivity. She published De signos y significaciones I: Juegos con la vanguardia: poetas del 27 (1999) and Carmen Martín Gaite (1925-2000) (2000). Her twelfth book, on the construction of the “feminine I” in literature (La construcción del yo femenino en la literatura), appeared in 2004.
A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for the Humanities in 1968, Professor Ciplijauskaité has penned well over one hundred articles in Spanish, English and Lithuanian, on topics ranging from late nineteenth and early twentieth century Spanish Literature, Spanish women authors, the Spanish Realist master Benito Pérez Galdós, Medieval drama, Baroque poetry, as well as Latin American fiction and Lithuanian poetry and prose. She edited and organized an authoritative critical edition of the complete sonnets of Spanish Baroque poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, contributed extensively to, and occasionally (co-)edited collections of scholarly essays, as well as an anthology of Spanish poetry from the 1980s and several of contemporary Lithuanian poetry. In addition, Professor Ciplijauskaité translated numerous Spanish and Catalan literary works into Lithuanian, and Lithuanian texts into Spanish and French.
Well after her retirement, Professor Ciplijauskaité maintained her active engagement with the university’s intellectual community, most notably in the Institute for Research in the Humanities. It was nevertheless for her untiring volunteer efforts, throughout the nearly two decades after her retirement, to bring international visibility to the valuable archival materials in UW-Madison Libraries Special Collections that she was awarded the Governor’s Archival Advocacy Award in the fall of 2015. She contributed to the archives in three important ways: by donating her own extensive correspondence with prominent Spanish scholars, poets and novelists spanning five decades of notes and letters, and by painstakingly organizing and translating the letters of renowned Spanish poet Jorge Guillén. Second, generously sharing her specialized expertise and her extraordinary proficiency in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian, Professor Ciplijauskaité undertook the massive task of arranging and annotating such crucial archives as the copious Renée Lang papers, the letters of Corrado Puchetti in the Fry Collection on Italian fascism, the Góngora Collection of 17th-century manuscripts, and the Baltic section of the Chester Easum Collection. Third, she worked assiduously to transcribe and translate vital materials from the Collection of invaluable papers donated to the library by UW-Madison’s distinguished professor of modern European history George L. Mosse, containing the fascinating correspondence and unpublished memoir of Professor Mosse’s great-aunt Martha Mosse, a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Without Professor Ciplijauskaité’s transcriptions, translations and detailed notes, amounting to hundreds of pages, a fundamental and little-known component of the history of Nazi-Jewish relations in Germany would likely linger unread and undiscovered in document boxes. The extent and significance that her work holds for future generations is impossible to underestimate.
As a final and indelible measure of her profound generosity and abiding commitment to the study of Spanish poetry, Professor Ciplijauskaité created a permanent endowment to fund a post-doctoral fellowship for research in peninsular Spanish poetry at UW-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities (the Biruté Ciplijauskaité Spanish Poetry Fellowship Endowment Fund), to be awarded to scholars from other than the UW-Madison campus. The creation of this fellowship fund is intimately tied to the vast collection of papers, poetry and other materials related to 20th-century Spanish poetry she donated to Special Collections.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese considers itself extremely fortunate to have had Biruté Ciplijauskaité among its ranks. Her passing leaves an immense and unfillable void — immense because of the depths and enormous array of her erudition; unfillable because, to borrow Hamlet’s words, we shall not look upon her like again.
Bill Cudlipp (1940-2016)
William Samuel “Bill” Cudlipp III passed away after a brief illness at Madison’s Meriter Hospital on November 21, 2016. Bill was born in Richmond, Virginia, on Nov. 19, 1940. He was an exceptionally bright and promising student, receiving a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1962 and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from UW-Madison in 1963 and 1974, respectively. His doctoral thesis, written under the direction of Mack H. Singleton, was entitled Quevedo’s Indebtedness to Four Latin Authors of the Silver Age. He was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1962-1963, and the UW-Madison University Fellowship for two consecutive years between 1963-1965. While working on his dissertation, from 1967 to 1973, Bill was a full-time instructor in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Richmond, where he taught undergraduate courses at all levels in language and literature and upper-level courses in Spanish Golden Age literature, his area of specialization. From 1975 to 1980, Dr. Cudlipp was Adjunct Instructor of Spanish in the Department of Foreign Languages at the Commonwealth University (in Richmond, Virginia), before returning to Madison in 1981 as a Visiting Assistant Professor. In 1985, he was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and held that position until 2001, when he was promoted to Faculty Associate.
Since his appointment in 1985, and for nearly three decades, Bill served as language coordinator of all levels of language instruction, from first semester to third-year Spanish. As coordinator, he was solely responsible for training, supervising and evaluating several generations of teaching assistants. Looking back, it is truly admirable that at a time when enrollments in Spanish were perhaps even higher than they are nowadays, Dr. Cudlipp succeeded in fulfilling by himself the duties that are currently shared among several coordinators and a language program director. He had a knack for untangling the knotty situations that TAs at times confront. Bill was a compassionate and beloved coordinator. Not only did he excel in every aspect of language coordination (from running orientation sessions and training workshops for new TAs, to designing syllabi and composing exams, observing TA-taught classes, mentoring TAs, and performing the sundry administrative tasks required by his position), but his performance in the classroom was consistently outstanding. He taught a wide array of courses, from introductory to intermediate courses, such as surveys of Early Spanish Literature (Spanish 322), to classes in advanced language practice. Bill was a devoted, effective and creative teacher, clearly communicating subtle and complex ideas, and successfully eliciting his students’ participation. For many consecutive summers, he contributed in unstinting and vital ways to planning and teaching the Advanced Placement Seminar for high school teachers. This seminar played a defining role in cementing the collaborative ties between the Department and Wisconsin high schools and thus strengthening the cooperation between the university and secondary level instruction.
Dr. Cudlipp also served for several years as a valuable and active member of the Undergraduate Studies and TA Review Committees. His contributions to these two committees were both crucial and lasting, particularly in the TA Review Committee, which he was instrumental in shaping when it emerged as the main committee of the Spanish Language Program in 1999. Bill was also the advisor for Sigma Delta Pi, the local chapter of the Spanish National Honor Society, on whose Coordination Committee he also served. Bill has mentored, trained and advised successive generations of graduate students. In recognition of his selfless and superior service, the Department nominated him for the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University in 2001, and in 2011, for an Indefinite Appointment. In 2009, he received the University Housing’s Honored Instructor Award. His personal investment in language instruction and coordination, his impeccable professionalism, vast experience, erudition and unstinting commitment for almost thirty years, have guaranteed the excellence and vitality of our language program during a time of expansion and steady growth.
His quiet and gracious demeanor, his sharp and mischievous wit, his keen intelligence, his warmth and unassuming generosity will be long and fondly remembered by those who knew him. Without his familiar and affable presence, the corridors of Van Hise Hall will for a long time and for many of us continue to seem all too empty.
Roberto Sanchez (1922-2016)
Roberto Garza Sánchez was born in San Antonio, on September 24, 1922. He joined the UW faculty ranks in 1950. He was tenured in 1955 and promoted to Full Professor in 1963. Roberto was a prolific and influential scholar, and his service contributions were wide-ranging and meaningful. His most lasting legacy in S&P was the culture of theatre and performance he actively fostered for over three decades. Not only did he direct the Department’s annual Spanish and Spanish-American play, bringing together students, faculty and staff as actors, stagehands, technicians, and wardrobe supervisors, but he was also an exceptionally gifted drama teacher. The plays Roberto directed drew regular and enthusiastic audiences of UW faculty and students as well as high-school Spanish classes from Madison and surrounding communities. He retired in 1984 and moved to Santa Barbara in 2002.
His family having instilled in him a belief in the dignity and singular worth of education, Roberto strove to provide Latino/a K-12 and first-generation students attending two-year colleges or transferring to UW-Madison the opportunity to pursue their post-secondary education. Our own department has for several years been extremely fortunate to experience first-hand his spirit of giving through a Theatre and Distinguished Lectureship Fund, whose aim is to provide financial support for guest lectures dealing with theatre and performance, dramatic productions, performances and academic symposia.
Roberto cherished education above all. More than a profession, for Roberto, teaching was a calling, and his philanthropy will benefit public education well into the future. “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops,” Henry Adams famously said. No one embodies the abiding truth these words express more completely than Roberto, who passed away on August 15, 2016, in Santa Barbara, at the age of 93. We miss him profoundly, but his memory will endure for countless years to come.
Grace Bloodgood (1959-2015)
When Grace was diagnosed with AML her medical staff began to refer to her journey as a war. Grace was a pacifist and didn’t like these references, choosing rather to see her bad blood cells as poor unfortunate sheep that had lost their way. They only needed to be herded to the right place. We deeply regret they never made it home.
Grace was a natural-born athlete and loved bicycling, softball and basketball. She was an avid bird watcher and could identify and mimic the songs of many different birds. This talent extended to her ability to relay stories, quote lines from movies or The Simpsons, and make it funnier than the original. Grace excelled at learning new languages (her BA was in Spanish with a minor in Italian) and worked as a computer programmer and project manager. While working for the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, her business cards read “Spanish Accountant…livin’ the dream”. Gracie touched many lives and was a true friend to all who knew her. She passed February 2, 2015.
Russell P. "Bud" Sebold (1928-2014)
On April 7, 2014, Professor Russell P. Sebold passed away in West Chester, Pennsylvania. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Professor Sebold received his BA from Indiana University and his PhD in Spanish Literature from Princeton University under the supervision of Américo Castro. In his long and prolific career, he taught at Duke University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Maryland, and University of Pennsylvania. During his ten years in our department (1956-1966), he began to publish on eighteenth-century Spanish literature with a monumental edition in four volumes of José Francisco de Isla’s Fray Gerundio de Campazas. This field, along with Spanish literature of the Romantic period, remained his province for the rest of his career. Among many distinctions are his twenty-nine years as editor of the Hispanic Review, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Elio Antonio de Nebrija Award (University of Salamanca), and his appointment as corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy. But above all, he bears the honor of leaving this world the way he lived: correcting the proofs of his final book, Garcilaso de la Vega en su entorno poético (2014), recently released.
Earl M. Aldrich (1929-2012)
Born on February 13, 1929, in Portland, Oregon, Earl graduated from the University of Oregon in 1951 and then earned a Master’s from Mexico City College-Mexico City (University of the Americas) in 1952 and a PhD from the University of Indiana in 1960. Earl was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese from 1960 to 1985, serving as Department Chair for five of those years. He took early retirement to pastor full time, first at Word of Life Church and then at Sweet Orchard Outreach Ministries.
Earl and his wife Betty traveled often in their early marriage for schooling and career and in their later marriage for ministry trips in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. They both loved the Oregon coast (“the most beautiful place in the world”). They devoted many hours together to caring for the members of their congregation and ministering in Latin America.
Ray Harris (1953-2009)
Raymond A. Harris was born in Birmingham, UK, on July 13, 1953. He was internationally recognized for his research in Spanish historical linguistics and was loved and revered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an exceptional colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend.
He received his BA in Spanish and Romance Linguistics from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1975, followed by a PhD from the same institution in 1985. Before coming to UW-Madison in 1989, Ray taught at the University of Oviedo (Asturias, Spain) from 1977-1989.
Ray loved music, from rock to opera, zarzuela to fado, good cuisine, and was schooled in picking a fine wine, especially a Spanish or Portuguese one. Many of his colleagues and graduate students in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, as well as those who worked with him on various committees outside of the Department, remember his culinary talent, his ability to make the preparation of extraordinary meals seem effortless and simple. As a gracious host, as well as scholar, he was unsurpassed.
Ray left a legacy of selfless service to the Department, College, University, and to the profession at large; unparalleled dedication to teaching and mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate level; and an internationally recognized reputation for excellence in research. Ray Harris was respected and loved by all; a cherished, generous friend and colleague: the backbone of the Department. He passed away on May 4, 2009.
Claude E. Leroy (1919-2005)
Claude E. Leroy passed away March 4, 2005, at the age of 85. He was born November 24, 1919, in Lake Mills. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1941 and with a master’s degree in 1946. He was an instructor of Portuguese at UW-Madison from 1943-1947, 1950-1951, and 1960-1963, and was a professor of Portuguese from 1964 until his retirement in 1983. Claude was the Director of Instituto Cultural Brasileiro-Norte Americano, USIA, Porto Alegre, Brazil from 1948-1950. He was an interpreter for the Brown-Raymond-Walsh Construction Company in Madrid, Spain, from 1954-1958. Claude was the Director of Courses, USIA, in Venezuela and Brazil from 1958-1960. He was the Director of the Luso-Brazilian Section, NDEA Language and Area Center at UW-Madison from 1965-1983, the first such center in Portuguese established in this country. Claude served on advisory committees for the development of Portuguese studies and of teaching materials in the United States.
Alain Swietlicki (1940-1995)
Born April 26, 1940, Alain Swietlicki spent the first five years of his life in occupied France. After that time, his family relocated to Caracas, Venezuela where Alain studied at Colegio Americano until going to the United States to study at Loomis Academy in Connecticut for two years. Returning to Caracas, he continued his studies and graduated from Liceo Andres Bello in 1958. That fall, he began studies in geochemistry at Kansas State University. He graduated in 1962 with a BA in Spanish. His graduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin earned him an MA in Spanish in 1965. As an ABD in Latin American History, he was awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the University of Texas. From 1968-1974, he taught Spanish and History at Kansas State and directed K-State summer programs at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. From 1974-1985, he taught Spanish at the University of Missouri in Columbia, receiving tenure in 1977 and a university teaching award in 1985. Beginning in 1985, he was a lecturer in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also coordinated first- and second-year Spanish. From 1990-1995, he directed UW-Madison’s summer program in Oaxaca, Mexico, a program he helped develop. He passed away on August 30, 1995.
Edward Mulvihill (1917-1995)
Edward Mulvihill, Department of Spanish & Portuguese professor, Chair, and College of Letters & Science Associate Dean, passed away February 21, 1995. He began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1946 after working as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for four years. During his teaching career, which ended with his retirement in 1985, he served as Department Chair from 1952-1972.
Brian Dutton (1935-1994)
Brian Dutton was born in Milton, North Stafffordshire, England in 1935. He earned his BA and MA Summa cum Laude at Kings College, University of London, England, and his PhD in Hispanic Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London, England. He was considered one of the world’s foremost Spanish Medievalists. He taught Spanish Language and Literature at Birkbeck College from 1958-1966 and 1967-1968, and at the University of Georgia, Athens from 1966-1967 and 1968-1970. He was the author and advisor for BBC Radio-Television language programs from 1965-1969. He came to the United States as a researcher and an advisor for a project of Computational Analysis of Natural Language via Correlational Theory, originally based in Milan, Italy, and then Athens, Georgia, with the United States Armed Forces Office of Scientific Research. He was head of the Spanish Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1970-1974, Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Illinois-Urbana from 1976-1986, Professor at Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, summers of 1990, 1991, and 1992, and Director of Graduate Studies and Professor of Medieval Spanish Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to the time of his death.