Beloved Vanderbilt University English professor Vereen Bell has died at 86

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Vereen M. Bell Death, Obituary.

Vereen M. Bell, a professor of English, emeritus, who has transformed influence on countless students, has passed away at his home in Nashville. The cause of his death has not been released to the public.

Bell was 86 years when he passed on, on the 24th of August 2021.

Background

Vereen was welcomed into the world on the 31st of October 1934, in Cairo, Georgia. He grew up in the nearby cities of Thomasville and Quitman.

He graduated from Davidson College in 1955 with a bachelor of science before applying for admission at Duke University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1959.

He lectured at Louisiana State University for two years before becoming an assistant professor in 1961 at the Vanderbilt Department of English. His strong areas are American and British literature and modern American poetry.

In 1987, Bell earned an award as a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship following his biographical research on Yeats in Ireland and England.

Bell authored many books including;

  • Robert Lowell: Nihilist as Hero (1983)
  • The Achievement of Cormac McCarthy (1988),
  • Yeats and the Logic of Formalism (2006),
  • He also co-edited On Modern Poetry: Essays Presented to Donald Davie (1988).

Tributes

John Geer, the Ginny, and Conner Searcy mentioned in a conversation that “Professor Bell’s classes all but defined the educational experience for generations of Vanderbilt students.”

Kate Daniels, Edwin Mims Professor of Literature said; “he is a scholar of early Modernist literature, he had the soul of an artist and the mind of a writer: associative, curious, deeply empathic, in love with language and unafraid of intense emotion.”

“He was known for being sharp and direct in his conversation, and he would always root for the underdog, I would describe him as an iconoclast from top to bottom. He was very eager to challenge a variety of thoughts and structures when he was a faculty member and department chair,” Gottfried said.

 

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  • Vereen M. Bell Age: 1934-2021