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IN MEMORIAM: Bengali Lecturer Carol Salomon

Submitted by Arts & Sciences Web Team on March 14, 2009 - 12:00am

Carol SalomonCarol Salomon
July 28, 1948—March 13, 2009

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature mourns the sudden and tragic passing of its friend and colleague, Carol Goldberg Salomon. Dr. Salomon was commuting to work by bicycle when she was involved in an accident with an automobile. She died on March 13, 2009. She was 60 years old at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband Richard, a professor in AL&L, and son Jesse.

Carol Salomon was born in New York City on July 28, 1948. She did her undergraduate work (in what was then called Oriental Studies) at the City College of New York and her graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. She is one of only a few people in the western world to have earned a Ph.D. in Bengali. Throughout her professional career, Carol exhibited a passion for learning about the language, people, culture, and civilization of the Bengal region in India and Bangladesh. She traveled to India and Bangladesh often and never tired of broadening her already vast knowledge of Bengali literature and culture. For most of her professional career Carol studied the devotional songs of Bengali Baul poets, particularly those by Lalan Fakir, many of whose compositions Carol translated into English.

Carol was a superb teacher of Bengali (also known as Bangla) and her services as an instructor of the language were often in demand. In addition to teaching Bengali at the UW, Carol taught the language at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, and Cornell University. At the time of her death, Carol was at work developing a new generation of teaching materials for Bengali under the auspices of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Early versions of these materials were field-tested in the courses in elementary Bengali that Carol taught and are being brought to completion by Carol’s collaborators. At the time of her death, Carol Salomon held the title of Senior Lecturer in Bengali. She had been with the UW faculty since 1983.

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