John Paul Riquelme (1946- 2022)
The Arts & Sciences community mourns the loss of John Paul Riquelme, beloved professor and renowned literary scholar and editor known for landmark studies of modernist authors in the British, Irish, and American traditions. His published work ranges from From Teller and Tale in Joyce’s Fiction, which initiated a decisive stylistic turn in Joyce studies; through Harmony of Dissonances: T. S. Eliot, Romanticism and Imagination, which examined a neglected and largely disavowed aspect of Eliot’s modernism; to his most recent projects, tracing the surprising overlap and interchange of representational strategies in high modernism and the pop cultural genres of Gothic and science fiction. John Paul’s Bedford Critical Editions of Dracula and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and his Norton Critical Edition of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man set the standard by which all future editions of these novels will be measured. As co-organizer of the Modernism Seminar series at Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center, which he revived over a decade ago, he remained admirably open to new ideas and perspectives.
Professor Riquelme was a wonderful colleague, committed scholar, and dedicated teacher and advisor. His commitment to his students and their journeys of academic discovery and development was recently recognized when he was awarded the Templeton Award for Excellence in Student Advising just last year. He also served selflessly in roles in CAS and University administration: as Acting Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities (fall 2014), as chair of the CAS Appointment Promotion and Tenure committee (2013-15), and as chair of the BU Appointment Promotion and Tenure committee (2017-19). His colleagues and students will always remember his active intellectual and community engagement, wise counsel, solicitude, and generosity.
Always quick with a joke or quip, John Paul signed his emails with a quotation from Beckett’s Endgame: “This is slow work….Is it not time for my pain-killer?” His courage and clear-eyed dedication to scholarship, art, and teaching were exemplary. He will be sorely missed.
He leaves his loving wife, Marie-Anne Verougstraete; a daughter, Ione Margot Bargy; and two sons, Victor Wolfgang Riquelme, and Louis Otto Riquelme.