In Memoriam: Lucy Schwartz

Lucy McCallum Schwartz (August 14, 1944-December 19, 2009)

Lucy McCallum Schwartz, 65 years of age, of Lake View, New York, died on December 19 in Houston, Texas, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, following a long, heroic struggle against complications related to leukemia. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, August 14, 1944, she was the daughter of the late Joseph Q. and Mary Frances McCallum of Raleigh, North Carolina. Lucy received her bachelor’s degree from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and her Master’s degree and PhD from Harvard University. She had a long and successful career as a Professor of French and college administrator primarily at the University of North Dakota, where she taught French and directed the Office of Instructional Development between 1972 and 1989, and at Buffalo State College, where she held the rank of Professor, and chaired the Department of Modern and Classical Languages from 1995 to 2004. She also taught at Penn State University, and Bucknell University, and served as Director of Special Programs at Lafayette College. She taught French language and literature at all levels. She published widely in the fields of French and Francophone literature, and was internationally recognized as a George Sand Scholar, with two published books and numerous articles. She retired from Buffalo State College in 2008.

She was a former board member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Hamburg, and active in several Western New York organizations dedicated to the promotion of foreign language study.

She is survived by her husband, Paul, and by her sons, Andrew Schwartz and his wife Lindsay Taylor of Denver, Colorado, and Judson Schwartz and his wife Amanda Steerman of Brooklyn, New York.

Lucy loved her family, and took great pride in the character and accomplishments of her two sons and their wives. She loved Buffalo State College and its students; she brought to her teaching a profound interest in their development, as well as a love for the subjects she taught.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, New York, on Tuesday, January 5 at 3 PM.

Contributions can be made in Lucy’s memory to the Lucy McCallum Schwartz Scholarship Fund at Salem College, 601 South Church Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Paul Schwartz

A Tribute to Lucy McCallum Schwartz (August 14, 1944 – December 19, 2009)

For many of us, Lucy Schwartz was a very good friend, always there to help when a job needed doing, a question required an answer, or a conference slot filling. She never sought the spotlight, preferring to do her work quietly and well. Her friends looked forward to Lucy and Paul’s annual Christmas letters, with their family photos, sharing the good news as well as the bad. Lucy’s honesty about her final illness and her unfailing courage as the terrible struggle continued over several years, made it so much easier for others to talk about it. Raymonde Bulger, a longtime friend who attended the memorial service for Lucy in Buffalo, N.Y. on January 5, 2010, saw those characteristics at work in the peaceful, modest gathering, planned in detail by Lucy a year before her death. Honesty, directness, courage, and generosity epitomize not only her personal relationships but her professional contributions as well.

In her Harvard dissertation, completed in 1972, Lucy explored the writing of Charles Augustin Sainte‐Beuve, “Sainte‐Beuve and the roman intime: A Thematic Study.” Later, like many of us in that decade with its new wave of feminism, she discovered women writers and never looked back. She published on a number of those writers: Claire de Duras and Juliane de Krüdener, for French Women Writers: a Biobibliographical Source Book (edited by Eva M. Sartori and Dorothy W. Zimmerman, Greenwood, 1991) and The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature (edited by Eva M. Sartori, Greenwood, 1999). For the Dictionnaire littéraire des femmes de langue française (edited by Christiane P. Makward and Madeleine Cottenet‐Hage, Karthala, 1996), she returned to Duras, as well as contributing entries on Isabelle de Charrière and Adélaïde de Souza. There were also essays on Christiane Rochefort, Françoise Sagan, Nathalie Sarraute, and, even farther from her dissertation topic, Aminata Sow Fall. George Sand was, however, her lasting interest. Many volumes of conference proceedings feature Lucy’s work, as do George Sand Studies and the group translation of Histoire de ma vie _(edited by Thelma Jurgrau, SUNY, 1990). Her major contributions came about through her daring to participate in French projects well before other Anglophone North American scholars did. She presented her research at the first CerisylaSalle conference, organized by Simone Vierne in 1981 (proceedings published by SEDES in 1983). She published a critical edition of _Le Secrétaire intime in the excellent éditions de l’Aurore series in 1991. Later, in 2004, her translation of that edition appeared in the U.S. with Peter Lang. Sand scholars will long continue to consult this body of work.

Lucy Schwartz was also a pillar of Women in French. She served as the organization’s Chair in 1983 during the transitional period before affiliation with the MLA, drawing up its first bylaws. In 1986, she created its newsletter and served for three years as its editor. She proposed and chaired several WIF‐sponsored special sessions at MLA Annual Meetings. She continued her commitment for many years through service as Nominating Committee Chair and also Co‐Chair, with Sylvie Rockmore, of the Undergraduate Essay Award Committee. Former President of WIF Mary Rice‐Defosse, who worked with Lucy in a number of those capacities and also, with Cathy Yandell, edited one of her papers for WIF Studies (special issue, 2005), sees Lucy as “the consummate scholar, possessing enormous breadth, a true professional who never lost sight of the personal, moral or ethical, a joy to work with.”

Sand studies and GSA members have both been greatly enriched by her presence. To honor her memory, contributions may be made in her name to the GSA Memorial Prize for the best doctoral dissertation on Sand (see that rubric on this website) or to the Lucy M. Schwartz Travel Abroad Fund at Salem College (see the preceding obituary for that information).

Annabelle Rea, Occidental College