Remembering Judith Dunbar, AND (d. 2020)

Judy was lauded as "a pioneer in women and gender studies who participated in the anti-imperialist struggles of the 1980s, especially involving Central America."

She joined the English faculty at Santa Clara University (SCU) in 1978, and retired in 2016. She brought to SCU her years of full-time teaching for the University of London Institute of Education, plus prior years as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bristol and of graduate work in English and Humanities at Stanford University, where in 1976 she earned her doctorate.

While at Santa Clara University, she published a book on Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, a book that combines a feminist and performance studies approach to this play that moves beyond tragedy to hope of renewal.Her teaching was transformative for generations of English and Theatre students in their deeper appreciation for literature, drama and poetry.

A colleague at Santa Clara described her as among the “most caring generous and compassionate teachers I have seen. The students adored her; she gave her life to do the best job possible. She was very committed to her vocation and to social justice.” In announcing her death, Santa Clara’s President noted her “spiritually grounded companionship, deep listening skills, and contagious love for literature of all kinds, but especially of transformative authors who worked within the realms of social justice, spirituality and poetry.”

Judy became an Associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 2010. She died from Parkinson’s Disease at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California, on October 19, 2020.

ND Associates Jan Lennon, Arnell Etherington and Judy Dunbar enjoy an afternoon together in 2010.

To honor Judy in a memorial contribution to the Sisters now, please click here or write to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1320 Ralston Ave, Belmont, CA  94002.


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