Hugh J. Silverman August 17, 1945- May 8, 2013 Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies Hugh J. Silverman, 67, of Port Jefferson, New York, died on May 8, 2013 in Stony Brook, New York. He was a renowned American Philosopher and cultural theorist whose books, teaching, and international conferences reached many around the world. Hugh J. Silverman was born on August 17, 1945 in Boston, Massachusetts, to the late Leslie Silverman and late Eleanore Riffin Silverman. He leaves his wife Gertrude Postl, his son Christopher Silverman and daughter Claire Goberman with her family of husband Alexander Goberman plus...
Hugh J. Silverman August 17, 1945- May 8, 2013
Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literary & Cultural Studies
Hugh J. Silverman, 67, of Port Jefferson, New York, died on May 8, 2013 in Stony Brook, New York. He was a renowned American Philosopher and cultural theorist whose books, teaching, and international conferences reached many around the world. Hugh J. Silverman was born on August 17, 1945 in Boston, Massachusetts, to the late Leslie Silverman and late Eleanore Riffin Silverman. He leaves his wife Gertrude Postl, his son Christopher Silverman and daughter Claire Goberman with her family of husband Alexander Goberman plus their four children Jacob, Lauren, Eli, and Keira. He also leaves three siblings, Julie Besser, Missy Lipsett and Lee Silverman. All family members will miss him dearly.
Hugh J. Silverman was Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University, NY. He was one of the leading figures in the field of Continental Philosophy in the US and published widely on 20th century European philosophy, in particularly French thinkers, such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, Julia Kristeva, and especially Jacques Derrida. His publications include Textualities: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction (Routledge, 1994, translated into German, 1997, Arabic, 2002, Italian, 2003, and Korean 2009) and Inscriptions: After Phenomenology and Structuralism (Routledge, 2nd edition: Northwestern University Press, 1997, translated into Korean, 2011), more than 25 edited books, over 130 articles and book chapters, as well as translations from French.
Throughout his life, he was tirelessly devoted – through publications, lectures, and in his teaching – to spreading the contemporary relevance of continental thought. Working within an interdisciplinary approach, he was particularly interested in the intersection between philosophy and literature and philosophy and art, but also addressed issues of ethics and politics from a continental lens.
Before embarking on his career of nearly 40 years at Stony Brook University, Hugh J. Silverman attended Noble & Greenough School in Dedham, Massachusetts (from 1957-1963), and Lehigh University (from 1963-1967), where he earned both a BA and an MA. He earned his Doctorate from Stanford University in 1973.
During his career he held Visiting Professorships in North America and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and he delivered well over 450 invited lectures all over the world. He was the founder and Executive Director of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature (IAPL) for which he organized an international annual conference for 37 years.
He was also co-founder and co-director of the annual International Philosophical Seminar in Alto Adige, Italy, which he organized annually from 1991 to the present. From 1980-86, he served as Executive Co-Director of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. At Stony Brook, he was Program Director of the Interdisciplinary Art and Philosophy Advanced Graduate Certificate, Chair of the Arts and Sciences Senate Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Policy Committee, and a member of the Arts and Sciences Senate Executive Committee.
Hugh was an avid Yankees baseball fan and enjoyed travelling the world to give lectures and discover new cultures of peoples of all regions to expand his own horizons. He loved debating philosophy, politics and culture with colleagues, friends and family. His inquisitiveness, dedication to his students, and tireless commitment to the field of Continental Philosophy will be sorely missed.
A quiet gathering at his home in Port Jefferson, NY, was held with his close family on May 12, 2013 to scatter his ashes near his favorite tree. A memorial of his life was held on Saturday, May 25, 2013, in the Javits Room, Frank Melville Memorial Library, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794. A memorial bench, with a plaque in his honor, was placed under three cherry trees outside of his department, Harriman Hall, at Stony Brook University.
Other professional accomplishments below…
Hugh J. Silverman was awarded the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Art Theory and Cultural Studies at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (2010) and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Humanities at the University of Vienna (2001). He was selected to be Distinguished Research Fellow at the Michael J. Osborne Centre for Advanced Study at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (2008) and Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria (1998). He has also received an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship (1981-82), a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, an MLA-ACLS Travel Grant (Brazil), several Fulbright Inter-country Travel Awards (Germany and the Netherlands), and numerous SUNY Faculty Research Fellowships and Faculty Professional Development Awards. In 1977, he was awarded the Recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997, he was awarded a Rector's Medal from the University of Helsinki, Finland.
As Visiting Professor, Hugh J. Silverman has taught at universities in the US (Duquesne and New York University), UK (Warwick and Leeds), Italy (Torino and Rome II -Tor Vergata), France (Faculté des Lettres, Nice), Austria (Vienna and Klagenfurt), Finland (Helsinki and Tampere), Norway (Trondheim), Singapore (NUS) and Australia (Sydney and Hobart, Tasmania) and Estonia (Doctoral Baltic Philosophy Network, held at University of Tallinn).
Hugh J. Silverman is listed in the Marquis Who's Who in the World, Marquis Who's Who in America, and the IBC 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the Twenty-first Century. The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) has twice devoted full sessions to his work, including a special Scholar's Session (2003). The Gruppe Phänomenologie held a two-day workshop in Vienna on his book Textualities (in German translation) with various speakers writing on aspects of the book. Numerous radio, newspaper, and video interviews with Professor Silverman have been published or taken place in various locations (including US, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Australia, S. Korea, Taiwan, etc.). In many different countries, especially in Europe, articles and essays have been published on his work.