In Memoriam: Tyler Stovall, 1954-2021

Tyler Stovall, a renowned historian, professor, and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University in New York, died December 10 at his home in New York City. He was 67 years old.

A native of Gallipolis, Ohio, Stovall was the son of a child psychologist. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Stovall was one of the first African Americans to gain notoriety as a historian of modern Europe. He was the author of 10 books including Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light (Houghton Mifflin, 1996), a work that explored the lives of the many Black writers, artists, and performers from America whose work flourished after emigrating to France in the 20th century. His latest book was White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea (Princeton University Press, 2021).

Before coming to Fordham University in 2020, Professor Stoval was dean of humanities at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 2014 to 2020. He was a faculty member of the Univerity of California, Santa Cruz Humanities Division for 13 years, including three years serving as the chair of the history department. Earlier in his career, Dr. Stovall was dean of the Undergraduate Division of Letters and Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as president of the American Historical Association.

Joseph M. McShane, president of Fordham University, stated that Dr. Stovall “was an experienced and capable administrator and a highly regarded historian and public intellectual with a fierce commitment to social justice and the advancement of minority scholars.”

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