Our dear colleague, Samuel N. Rosenberg, professor emeritus of French and Italian, passed away on June 30, 2020. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues, friends, and former students. Rosenberg received an A.B. summa cum laude from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1957 and earned a Ph.D. in Romance Philology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1965. He spent most of his professional career at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he joined the Department of French and Italian in 1962. He was chair of the Department from 1977 to 1984, and he retired in 2000.
In Memoriam: Samuel N. Rosenberg
Rosenberg was a dedicated and versatile teacher who taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses: French grammar and composition, history of the French language, comparative stylistics of French and English, history of the Italian language, Old Italian texts, French literature of the Middle Ages, the Prose Lancelot, and his beloved specialty, Old French lyric poetry. Rosenberg directed thirteen Ph.D. dissertations, five of which resulted in scholarly publications. His many distinctions and honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant (1989-92). Always generous of his time, he was first bibliographer, then editor of Encomia: Bibliographical Bulletin of the International Courtly Literature Society from 1981 to 2010.
A renowned and prolific scholar, Sam published a great number of erudite books and articles on Old and Middle French lyric, as well as on Hebrew lyric poetry. Among these, his Chansons de trouvères (1995), his Old French Ballette (2006), and his Sottes chansons contre Amours : parodie et burlesque au Moyen Âge (2010) stand out particularly and will undoubtedly be reference works for many years to come. One of the most striking features of Rosenberg's scholarship was his love of working with long-standing friends and colleagues on these critical editions and translations of trouvère lyric poetry, as well as Arthurian romances. This is a telling testimony to his collaborative and generous personality. During his retirement and up until recently, he continued to produce an impressive number of books and articles, often turning to new subject matters: Berlioz on Music : Selected Criticism, 1824-1837 (2015), The Jews of the South of France (2019), and Paul Verlaine: A Bilingual Selection of His Verse (2019), the later being edited by Professor Nicolas Valazza. Rosenberg was always considerate, kind and helpful with his colleagues, particularly with beginning scholars.
In December 2019, at IU's Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Rosenberg gave a reading of some of Verlaine's poems he had translated. Those of us who were fortunate to be in attendance will always cherish this memory. Samuel Rosenberg will be rembered with deep respect and affection by all those who knew him.
Jacques E. Merceron