In Memoriam

  • Remembering members of the Lang community

    We extend condolences to the friends and families of members of our community who have passed away:

  • Neil Gordon

    Neil Gordon, professor of writing in the Literary Studies department and former dean of Eugene Lang College, passed away in May 2017. Neil was a valued member of the faculty, a highly regarded writer and novelist, and a teacher and mentor to many students, faculty, and staff.

    Neil received his BA from the University of Michigan and a master's from the University of Paris. After graduating from Yale with a PhD in French Literature, he worked for many years at the New York Review of Books and was the founding literary editor of the Boston Review before returning to academics to teach at Eugene Lang College. After serving as dean at Lang, Neil spent three years in Paris as dean, vice president, and professor of comparative literature at the American University of Paris.

    Although he wrote a great deal of literary criticism and numerous reviews, Neil considered himself primarily a historical and political novelist. He published four novels: one about the history of the Holocaust and the state of Israel (Sacrifice of Isaac); the second about Israel, the United States, and the arms trade (The Gun Runner's Daughter); the third about the radical Left in the United States during the war in Vietnam (The Company You Keep); and the fourth the story of the American Left from the Spanish Civil War to Occupy Wall Street (You're a Big Girl Now). The third was filmed in 2012 by Robert Redford under the same name. Neil's awards and honors include a New York Times 2004 Notable Book of the Year and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts grant to the Boston Review in support of his article series Imagining the Enemy.

    Like his writing, Neil's courses examined the representation of lived political and historical experience, focusing on what he described as "the intersection between individuals and the political history that surrounds them."

    The Lang community sends its deepest condolences to his friends, his family, and all who knew and treasured him.

    Eugene Lang

    Mr. Eugene M. Lang passed away in April 2017. He was 98. Dean Browner, reflecting on her visits with Mr. Lang when she first came to the college, recalls, “I visited Gene every other week in his office. Our conversations were wide-ranging, and I brought students on alternate visits. I continued these visits until his health began to fade.

    “These conversations deepened my understanding of the man, the values that shaped his life, his passion for education, and his vision as a trustee of The New School in founding a liberal arts college within the university.”

    Read more about Mr. Lang and his remarkable life:

    Robin Mookerjee

    Lang professor Robin Mookerjee passed away in May 2016. Robin was a beloved teacher of creative writing and literature, a dedicated advisor committed to his students, and an accomplished writer.

    After receiving his BA from Bard College, Robin earned an MA and PhD in English at New York University. He taught at The New School for 17 years on a variety of topics, from Emily Dickinson's poetry to American intellectual history, and led a number of writing courses on poetry and fiction. He wrote about the Black Mountain poets, the American Jewish novel, and contemporary satiric fiction. Here is Robin describing his own approach to his writing and research:

    As a poet, I am interested in locating the points at which articulation breaks down and gives way to the inarticulable or unknowable. On a perhaps parallel line, my research centers on the reemergence of literary traditions (romanticism, satire) in disguised forms on the contemporary scene.

    His recent publications include Transgressive Fiction: The Contemporary Satiric Tradition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), "The Politics of Enmity: Deconstruction and the New Neoconservatism" (Revista des Letras v. 49, n. 2, 2009), and Identity and Society in American Poetry (Cambria Press, 2008).

    The tragic loss of Professor Mookerjee has been deeply felt by his students and colleagues in the Literary Studies department and across the university.