We are sad to learn of the death of María Rosa Menocal, scholar of medieval history and literature and author of Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric (1993) and Writing in Dante’s Cult of Truth: From Borges to Bocaccio (1991). Menocal passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. She was Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale and former director of the Whitney Humanities Center. Writing in Speculum, Diana de Armas Wilson said, “Shards of Love is a powerful and haunting book whose constant refrain is exile, and specifically the medieval lyric in exile.”
Yale University offers a detailed obituary for Menocal, including these words from Yale President Richard C. Levin: “María Rosa Menocal was among the most brilliant, creative, and original of Yale’s extraordinary scholars in the humanities. She was a humanist in the broadest sense of the term. She was passionate about all forms of human expression from literature, the visual arts, and politics to cooking, professional hockey, and the music of troubadours from medieval Provence and al-Andalus to Bob Dylan. Her passions inspired and energized her students and colleagues, and shaped a vibrant community at the Whitney Humanities Center.”
Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.