The University Record, April 9, 1996


Robert H. Super

Robert H. Super, professor emeritus of English language and literature, died March 29 after a massive stroke. He was 81.

Super, who taught at the U-M from 1947–1984, was well known for his 1954 complete bibliography of the works of Walter Savage Landor, the only 20th century biography of the English poet.

From 1960 to 1977, Super edited the 11-volume complete prose works of Matthew Arnold, which was “not only the most complete and discerning version of Arnold possible, but was also a selfless model for all editors and literary critics who attempt to reconstruct the past,” noted the Board of Regents.

Beginning in 1978, Super turned to the life and works of English novelist Anthony Trollope, publishing Trollope in the Post Office in 1981 and The Chronicler of Barsetshire: A Life of Anthony Trollope in 1988. He also edited three of Trollope’s novels, including Marion Fay, which had been unpublished in the 20th century.

During his career, Super won three U-M Press Book Awards, a Fulbright Research Fellowship, and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1990, he was chosen as a Fellow of the British Academy for his work in English literature.

Super was born June 13, 1914, in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., and held bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in English from Princeton University and a bachelor’s in literature from Oxford University. He also taught at Princeton and Michigan State Normal College prior to coming to U-M.

Upon his retirement, the Regents issued the following statement: “Other aspects of Professor Super’s career at Michigan have illustrated the same energy, firmness, comprehensive knowledge, accuracy and humanity that his scholarship has. A dedicated teacher, his influence has been appreciatively acknowledged by generations of students, particularly by the many graduate students who willingly testify that they owe their careers to his unique combination of passionate respect for scholarship and sympathy for fallible humanity. He has served ably and with painstaking dedication on many committees within the University. In all these activities, he has expended considerable time and effort to establish the highest possible sense of and standards for the general good of the University.”

Super is survived by his wife, Rebecca, of Ann Arbor; and sons, David, of Washington, D.C., and Paul, of Seal Harbor, Maine.


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