Obituary: John L. Foster
- John L. Foster
We regret to announce the death of John L. Foster on 25th January 2011. A well-known translator of ancient Egyptian literature, his more popular volumes include Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Echoes of Egyptian Voices, Hymns, Prayers, and Songs, The Shipwrecked Sailor, and Ancient Egyptian Literature: An Anthology.
Jack was professor of American literature at Roosevelt University in Chicago from 1966 until his retirement in 1994. He was chairman of the English Department and active in university-wide administration, including service on the Board of Trustees. He also had a long association with the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago concurrent with his tenure at Roosevelt; this relationship was formalized at his retirement when he became a Research Associate there. His work focused on the structure of ancient Egyptian verse and he published extensively in his field on varied topics such as the thought couplet and grammatical structures in literary texts. He also applied his training in literary theory to approach ancient Egyptian literature as literature, to discuss methods of translation, as well as to highlight the myriad details that enhance a reading of a literary text and enrich the reader's appreciation. His translations were recognized for their accessibility and craftsmanship, which may be the reason his were some of the first to appear in standard textbooks surveying the masterpieces of world literature. He was an active member of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities as well as the American Research Center in Egypt and edited their journal, JARCE, for some years.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria, and their three children: Ann, Kristen, and Robert, as well as grandson and namesake, John.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Evanston on 16th April 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in Tittle Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jack's name to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (1155 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637).
(Posted by Foy Scalf, scalffd@...)