I regret to inform you of the death of Jeanne Addison Roberts, Professor Emerita of Literaturem, who died on April 3rd at her home in Chevy Chase from complications of breast cancer. She was 87.
A noted feminist scholar, Dr. Roberts taught at American University for 30 years. She also taught at the Folger Shakespeare Library and founded the Folger's Teaching Shakespeare Institute, where she presided as Head Scholar for two years and was a visiting scholar in later years. Her many academic achievements include serving as President of the Shakespeare Association of America, and as President of the Southeast Renaissance Society. She is a recipient of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association Lifetime Achievement Award. A lifelong patron of the arts, Jeanne was passionate about theatre and the literary arts. She was an active member at the Cosmos Club and in the community, giving lectures at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in her retirement.
Offering an alternative perspective in a world of male dominated criticisms, Jeanne provided a feminist analyst of gender in Shakespeare plays. She is the author of Shakespeare’s English Comedy: The Merry Wives of Windsor in Context, The Shakespearean Wild: Geography, Genus and Gender, and most recently, Literary Criticism as Dream Analysis. Her many articles on Swift, Johnson, Milton, Margaret Cavendish and Elizabeth Cary have been published widely in scholarly journals. She has served on the editorial boards of Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, Shakespeare Studies and the Upstart Crow.
Born in Washington, DC, Jeanne is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Agnes Scott College and holds a MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D from the University of Virginia. She spent four years in Bangkok, Thailand and four years in Beirut Lebanon while teaching and raising her two children.
Jeanne is survived by her devoted husband, Markley Roberts; her two children Ellen Coster and Addison Masengill; her brother John West Addison and four grandchildren, Stephanie, Jennifer, Misha and Robert. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Columbia's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albermarle St. NW, Washington, DC on Thursday, April 12 at 11:30 a.m. with a reception at the Church to follow. Memorial donations may be made to the Folger Shakespeare Library or the American University Library.