Charles W. Mignon (1933-2009)

Charles William Mignon (December 11, 1933- September 25, 2009)


From Mark Kamrath

Charles W. Mignon, Professor Emeritus of American Literature at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, died September 25, 2009, at the age of 75. Educated at Kenyon College and at the University of Connecticut, he taught at the University of Illinois and, later, the University of Nebraska (1967-2000).

His scholarship concentrated primarily on the writings of Edward Taylor, and over the decades he provided early Americanists and historians astute readings of Taylor’s Preparatory Meditations and other writings. In 1989, he published Upon the Types of the Old Testament (2 vols), a manuscript of 36 sermons dating from 1693 to 1706 that had found its way in 1977 to a used book store in Lincoln. In addition to scholarship on New England typology and the American Renaissance, he later edited several volumes of Willa Cather’s novels, including O Pioneers!, My Antonia, A Lost Lady, and Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Always generous with his time and editorial expertise and always willing to discuss the pedagogy of teaching early American literature, Chuck—and his sense of humor about the Puritanical trials of our profession—will be missed.

[reported to SEA by Mark Kamrath]


By Carla Mulford

Dear colleagues,

I’m saddened to hear about our mutual loss of Charles Mignon.

Chuck was an early promoter and then member of the Society of Early
Americanists. He came out to our opening sessions, in the days when we met at
the Mission Bay area in San Diego, even before the Society was officially formed.

His was a genial and supportive presence at our meetings. He asked good
questions and offered useful commentary on papers at our sessions, provided
moral support to those just entering the profession, and was a model of the
cordial professional colleague whose interests and professional engagement we
sought to foster as we thought about and then officially organized the Society.

I didn’t know Chuck well, but I always appreciated his warm smile and his
generous support as we all worked together to create the Society of Early Americanists.

Best wishes,
Carla Mulford
Founding President, Society of Early Americanists


Obituary from The Lincoln Journal Star

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