In Memoriam: Richard Karl Priebe (1943-2017)

June 16, 2017

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English is saddened to report that Professor Emeritus Richard Karl Priebe passed away on June 9, 2017. Richard graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1964 and pursued graduate study in English and German at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He earned his PhD in English in 1973 from the University of Texas, Austin. He married Barbara Kerstetter in 1968, who preceded him in death. Richard is survived by a son, Adam, and daughter-in-law, Jodie.

Upon graduation from UT Austin in 1973, Richard joined the VCU Department of English where he taught freshman composition, American, African, Caribbean, Postcolonial and world literatures, poetry, and graduate courses in African literature. He served as Acting Coordinator of African American Studies from 1985 to 1986, as President of the African Literature Association from 1998 to 2001, and co-organizer of the 27th African Literature Association conference in Richmond in April 2001. He retired in the fall of 2005 after 32 years of teaching at VCU.

Richard is the author of five books: Ghanaian Literatures; Myth, Realism, and the West African Writer; Artist, Critic, Translator: The Creative Circle, edited with Louis Tremaine and Angelina Overvold; Artist and Audience: African Literature as Shared Experience and The Teaching of African Literature, both edited with Thomas Hale. Among his honors and appointments, Richard won a prestigious NEH fellowship for work on a book-length study of representations of childhood in African literature.

A private gathering will be held by the family and his ashes interred in Liverpool, Pennsylvania. Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors without Borders or to the local SPCA.

For more information on Richard’s personal and academic life, see article in the Friday, June 16th issue of VCU News.