October 29, 2013


SUBJECT:    Passing of Professor Rosemary Marangoly George

Rosemary Marangoly George, internationally distinguished literary scholar, esteemed colleague, and beloved teacher, died on October 18, 2013.

Born in New Delhi, India on November 21, 1961, Professor George was educated at St. Stephen's College at Delhi University, Northeastern University, and Brown University, and for twenty years was on the faculty in the Department of Literature at University of California, San Diego. A warmly admired scholar of literature and literary criticism, she possessed a range of expertise that included modern British classics, Anglophone world literatures, South Asian literature in English, and the literature and culture of the South Asian diaspora. She was the author of The Politics of Home: Postcolonial Relocations and Twentieth Century Fiction (Cambridge University Press, 1996), an influential study of global literatures in English, and editor and contributor to Burning Down the House: Recycling Domesticity (Harper Collins, 1998), a volume of essays on literature and domesticity across the world. Her last book, Indian English and the Fiction of National Literature, on South Asian literature, is due out from Cambridge University Press next month. Her books offer nuanced and richly textured studies of the relationship of literature to the worlds of British India, modern South Asia, and South Asian diaspora, and all are characterized by her intelligence and unique sensibility.

Professor George was a scholar of British literature who specialized in the global literatures in English that issue from the history of British empire; throughout her work, the questions of literary and cultural encounter, influence, and exchange among peoples migrating between the metropole and its former colonies have been central. She served on the editorial boards of journals such as Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, and Feminist Studies. She brought her expertise on gender and colonialism to the entire University of California system, in her role on the Advisory Board of the UC Humanities Research Institute. At UC San Diego, she was a vital presence in the Literature Department and actively committed to campus diversity and equity, serving as Director of the Critical Gender Studies program, as an advisor and mentor to many students in the Ethnic Studies Department, and as a member of the Steering Committee of the "California Cultures in Comparative Perspective" initiative. Her distinguished and lasting service to the Literature Department included her work as Director of Graduate Studies, in which she is remembered as a force of nature, advising and mentoring many graduate students who have gone on to become respected professors in distinguished universities in the United States, Great Britain, and Asia. She was also at the core of the development of the department's innovative undergraduate program in Literatures of the World. Just recently, one of her undergraduate students had the opportunity to express his gratitude for Professor George as a mentor, appreciating that she modeled how the study of letters might lead to an authentic life and to the study of what matters.

Rosemary Marangoly George is survived by her husband, Swaminathan Badrinath and their daughter Jayshree. Her memory is cherished by the many students, staff, and colleagues (here and around the world), who, having had the privilege to work with her, were touched by her grace and generosity. If you are interested in learning of plans to honor the contributions and memory of Rosemary George, please contact Professor Stephanie Jed in the Department of Literature ( If you would like to contribute to a charity in her memory, please send your donation (by check) to Children of the World Trust, Vishwabalak Kendra, Plot No. 9 & 10, Sector -12, Phase - 11, Nerul, Navi Mumbai - 400 706, India.

Seth Lerer
Division of Arts and Humanities

Stephanie Jed
Department of Literature