Huston Diehl (1948–2010)

Huston DiehlThe College mourns the loss of Huston Diehl, Collegiate Fellow and Professor of English, who died September 8, 2010.

Huston was an influential teacher of early modern drama, particularly Shakespeare. Her scholarly books and articles explored intersections of religion, visual art, and theater in seventeenth-century literary culture. She was the author of Staging Reform, Reforming the Stage: Protestantism and Popular Theatre in Early Modern England (Cornell University Press, 1997) and of An Index of Icons in English Emblem Books (University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Among her scholarly honors was an NEH Faculty Fellowship.

Huston’s third and most recent book, Dream Not of Other Worlds (The University of Iowa Press, 2007), brought together her passion for education and for social justice in a work that is both a social history and a memoir of her experience teaching in a segregated school in Virginia.

Huston served her department as Associate Chair for Faculty, and in that capacity mentored many junior colleagues. Her graduate students regularly received dissertation fellowships and all have gone on to faculty positions at public and private universities. Huston was the recipient of a Regents’ Award for Faculty Excellence and a University Excellence in Teaching Award. A symposium held at the UI in May 2010 in honor of Huston brought together former as well as current students and colleagues, and addressed the influence of Huston's work in literary studies, education, and nonfiction writing.

Above all, Huston was an excellent colleague and friend, energetic in her service to her department, her students, and the profession, combining generosity and warmth with the highest standards as scholar and teacher.

Contributions may be made to the Huston Diehl Memorial Fund in care of the University of Iowa Foundation, Levitt Center for University Advancement, 1 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52255. This fund, established with an initial bequest from Huston before her death, will help support the teaching and research mission of the English Department at The University of Iowa.