Marcellus Blount, an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, died recently in New York City. He was the former director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and the former director of the graduate program in African American studies at Columbia.
In addition to teaching at Columbia, Dr. Blount served as a research fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, a visiting fellow at Wesleyan’s Center for Afro-American Studies, a Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania, and a visiting fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.
A statement on the website of the department of English and comparative literature at Columbia reads: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved friend and colleague. Marcellus had taught at Columbia since 1985, inspiring students with his courses on American and African-American literary and cultural studies. This news comes as a terrible blow to everyone who knew, worked with, and studied with Marcellus.”
Dr. Blount was a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He earned a Ph.D. at Yale University. He was the co-editor of the book Representing Black Men (Routledge, 1995).