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In Memoriam: Daniel G. Calder (1939-1994)


A Remembrance by Robert E. Bjork, Arizona State University

Daniel G. Calder died on August 2, 1994, from complications of AIDS. He was 55. He is survived by his companion of twenty-eight years, Joseph Turk of Sherman Oaks, California; by his parents, Margaret and Gillmore Calder of Campobello Island, New Brunswick; and by his cousin, Ann B. Eldridge of Santa Barbara, California. And he is and will continue to be deeply missed by scores of friends, colleagues, and students.

Born in Lubec, Maine, on February 10, 1939, Calder earned a B.A. from Bowdoin College (1960) and an M.A. in theater and English from the University of Iowa (1962). He then returned to Bowdoin, where he was an instructor from 1962 to 1964 before entering the doctoral program at Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. in 1969, taught at the University of Washington from 1969 to 1971, and finally moved to the University of California, Los Angeles. There he quickly established himself as an extremely rigorous but equally fair teacher as well as a judicious and trusted leader among the faculty. He filled various administrative posts within the English Department before serving as chair from 1983 to 1990, a period of tremendous growth in the department's strength and stature. In addition, he served as Associate Dean of the School of Theater, Film, and Television, during its establishment as a professional school, and as Acting Dean of the Division of Humanities in the College of Letters and Sciences.

Calder's scholarship is wide-ranging, well-respected, and often-referred to among Anglo-Saxonists. He was the initiator and co-translator of two standard reference works in the field, Sources and Analogues of Old English Poetry: The Major Latin Texts in Translation with Michael J.B. Allen (1976) and Sources and Analogues of Old English Poetry II: The Major Germanic and Celtic Texts in Translation with Robert E. Bjork, Patrick K. Ford, and Daniel F. Melia (1983). He also edited Old English Poetry: Essays on Style (1979), authored Cynewulf (1981), co-authored A New Critical History of Old English Literature with Stanley B. Greenfield (1986), and co-edited Germania: Comparative Studies in the Old Germanic Languages and Literatures with T. Craig Christy (1988). He wrote a number of articles on Old English poems as well, Beowulf, The Phoenix, The Wanderer, and The Seafarer among them, served on the editorial board of Anglo-Saxon England, and was the founding Executive Director of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.

In recent years, Calder was keenly interested in the development of gay and lesbian studies at UCLA. Much of his professional activity centered around furthering the recognition of the field as a legitimate and important area of scholarly endeavor. Besides teaching numerous seminars in gay literature, he co-taught an introductory course in gay and lesbian studies and was one of the founder'S of UCLA's Gay and Lesbian Faculty and Staff Network. Before his death, he was working on a study of contemporary gay fiction. His distinguished contributions to Anglo-Saxon studies, gay and lesbian studies, and academic administration have had an abiding impact on us all: his humanity, humor, and compassion on more than a few of us.