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Professor Emeritus Karl Kramer will be missed

Submitted by Susanna J Westen on February 26, 2014 - 9:01am

The Slavic Department grieves the passing of Professor Emeritus Karl Kramer on February 19, 2014 at age 80. Karl was a Seattle native who earned his B.A. (English, 1955), M.A. (Comparative Literature, 1957), and Ph.D. (Comparative Literature, 1964), all at the University of Washington. As a participant in one of the first – and, in those days of the Cold War, extremely rare – academic exchanges in the former Soviet Union, Karl attended Moscow State University as a doctoral candidate in 1959-1960. He went on to teach at Northwestern University (1961-1965) and the University of Michigan (1965-1970) before coming back to the UW in 1970, where he taught jointly in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature until his retirement in 1999. He chaired the Slavic Department between 1988 and 1998. A world-renowned Chekhov scholar, Karl taught a wide variety of courses during the nearly thirty years he spent at the UW. He also became actively involved – mainly as a translator and consultant – in a number of theatrical productions of Chekhov’s plays staged by local directors and actors in the Seattle area, especially those connected with Intiman Theater, and participated for many years in a group bringing discussions of theater and plays to Washington State prisons. Loved by his colleagues and students, Karl and his generosity of spirit, nobility of character and dry, self-deprecating sense of humor will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Doreen, daughter Jennifer and two grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for April 5, 2014 on the UW-Seattle campus.

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