Eva Kushner (1929 – 2023)

In Memoriam: Eva Kushner (1929 – 2023)

February 8, 2023

It is with great sadness that the Centre for Comparative Literature shares the news that Professor Eva Kushner, former director of the Centre, and Professor of Comparative Literature, passed away on January 28, 2023.

Eva Kushner (1929–2023) was a noted scholar in the fields of Comparative and French Literature, as well as in Renaissance, Canadian and Quebec literature.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929, Eva Dubska fled Czechoslovakia with her mother and sister Sonia in 1939. They lived in France, 1939–1945, then returned briefly to Czechoslovakia after World War II, before coming to Canada in 1946. Eva received her university education at McGill University: B.A. (Philosophy and Psychology, 1948), M.A. (Philosophy, 1950), and Ph.D. (French Literature, 1956). Beginning in 1952, she was a Lecturer at various institutions, including McGill, and University College London. In 1961, Eva Kushner began teaching at Carleton University, achieving the position of Full Professor (French and Comparative Literature) in 1969. She joined McGill in 1976 as Professor of French and Comparative Literature and as Director of the Department of French Language and Literature.

In 1987, Professor Kushner was named President of Victoria University at the University of Toronto. She was the first woman to serve as President of Victoria University (1987-1994), and the first to lead an Ontario University. She was Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature from 1994-1995.

 Eva Kushner’s scholarly leadership included numerous publications. She served as Chair of the Royal Society of Canada Committee on Freedom of Scholarship and Science, 1993–1998. She was a member of the Canada Council Advisory Academic Panel and Executive Committee, 1975–1981, and the Modern Language Association of America Executive Council, 1983–1988. Professor Kushner was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1997. She is survived by her children, Daniel, Roland, and Paul.

A collection of materials associated with Professor Eva Kushner is located at the E. J. Pratt Library at Victoria University, https://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/collections/special_collections/f44_eva_kushner

Donations in honour of her memory may be made to Doctors without Borders (doctorswithoutborders.ca ). Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com .

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