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accents on english | fall 18-spring 19

Helen Nebeker (1927-2018)

Editors’ note: Portions of this remembrance were drawn from an Arizona Republic obituary published on January 21, 2018.

Helen Nebeker, professor emeritus and former associate chair of the ASU Department of English, passed away on January 15, 2018.

Nebeker, who is also an ASU alum, taught English at ASU from 1957 to 1988. She had earned her BA (1956) and MA (1958) but was discouraged from completing her doctorate at the time due to administrative and cultural politics.

She later completed that long-deferred work—defending her dissertation and earning a PhD in English literature—in 2009 at age 83, to great personal and department celebration.

Nebeker was the author of two books: Jean Rhys: Woman in Passage (1981), about the Caribbean novelist, and the other, Bittersweet: A Candid Love Story (2005), a memoir based on more than 800 letters between her and her husband during WWII.

A memorial service was held on January 27, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Image: The State Press published an article about Nebeker earning her doctorate in 2009.