Monday, May 09, 2016

Sad News: Conseula Francis

Eric posted the following message to the Romance Scholar listserv earlier today:


Very sad news this morning:  romance scholar Conseula Francis, who also worked on James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, and many other authors and topics, has died. Her husband posted this on Facebook this morning:

Dear Friends,
It is my sad duty to report, that shortly before dawn on May 9th, 2016, Conseula Alena Francis passed from this Earth. Not only was she the love of my life, but she also was a loving mother who blessed me with two wonderful girls.

Among her peers, she was well-respected as a scholar, academic, and administrator. As an educator, she was loved by her students, many of whom unabashedly agree that both in and out of the classroom she changed lives. She was beloved by her friends, and as a sister, daughter, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law, she was adored by her relatives.

As her light passes into the next world, she leaves this world dimmer and colder. Please keep her in your memories.

I knew from FB that she had gone into the hospital, but her posts had indicated that it was nothing serious. It’s a terrible loss to her family, her academic community, and to the field.

Conseula’s groundbreaking essay on Zane as a romance novelist was published in the Romance Fiction and American Culture anthology last month; she was a contributor to the Popular Romance Project, with posts on iconography of the Obamas and on Zane and respectability politics. She was a deeply valued peer reviewer for JPRS, and appeared there in print as an interviewer of Joanna Russ.

She will be missed.


The College of Charleston's tribute to her can be found here. The Post and Courier has published a short obituary as has ABCnews4.

[Edited to add: Another article, written by one of Conseula's colleagues, has been published at Inside Higher Education.]

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