Richard Allan Davison
September 11, 1934 - January 19, 2023
Richard Allan Davison, age 88, of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, January 19, 2023.
Born in Montréal, Canada, on September 11, 1934, he was a son of the late Harry P. and Alta (Chalmers) Davison.
He was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Delaware, where he was Associate Chair from 1969 – 1974. He was a proud graduate of Middlebury College, earned his M.A. at the University of Rochester, and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Before his over three decades as a faculty member at the University of Delaware, he taught at Gettysburg College and Seattle University and was Visiting Professor at Washington College and at universities in Essen and Cologne, Germany.
While at Seattle University, he was the Director of the English Graduate Program and wrote and hosted 39 episodes of a television series “Literature and Life” in 1966. Professor Davison published numerous articles on such figures as Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Stephen Crane, Hart Crane, Fitzgerald, Robert Penn Warren, Steinbeck, Albee, Salinger, and Hemingway. He was a past president of the Frank Norris Society and published articles and books on Frank, Charles, and Kathleen Norris. He was a member of the Hemingway Society, Fitzgerald Society, and John Updike Society, among others, and enjoyed travel with his colleagues to various international conferences.
A passionate theater-goer from the time he saw his first Broadway show, The Music Man, in 1958, he was an enthusiastic audience member, scholar, dramaturg, and enjoyed correspondence with many great theater artists. His papers, including a portion of his extensive playbill collection, are at the University of Delaware Library, Special Collections. He co-edited two books on theater with Jackson Bryer, The Actor’s Art (2001) and The Art of the American Musical (2005).
He received the University of Delaware College of Arts and Science Teaching Award in 2001. After his retirement, he continued to give readings and talks on a variety of writers and on theater throughout the state.
Richard is survived by his wife of 48 years, Milena (Taychman) Davison; children, Heather Davison (Julian), Gregory Davison, and Anne Davison (Amy); and one grandchild, Moth.
All services will be held privately with a celebration of his life in the spring of 2023.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Richard’s memory to the University of Delaware Library, Special Collections, Development and Alumni Relations, 83 East Main Street, 3rd Floor, Newark, DE 19716-2128. Please include “Special Collections” on the memo line.