American Studies faculty honored David Noble with an American Indian "Chief Joseph" blanket. Photo by Kelly MacWilliams.
He co-authored the first multicultural history of the United States. He taught brilliantly, memorably. Supervised 100-plus doctoral dissertations. Influenced the development of American studies at the University and nationwide. Reshaped scholarship in American and cultural history, literature, women's studies, race theory. Wrote nine books, retired, is writing his tenth book.
Did you catch that he retired? Professor David Noble did retire this spring, legendary and lauded, after more than 50 years of scholarship and teaching. But his work continues, as he focuses full bore on a new book, which some of his colleagues are predicting will be his most important. Its working title: "Is the Global Marketplace the Last New World? Economists, Literary Critics and Ecologists Debate the End of History."
Celebrating the retirement were students, colleagues, family, and friends at an event that was variously happy, serious, funny, and poignant, and featured a panel of former students.
Dean Jim Parente spoke to Noble's career as a scholar and educator: "He could chair the American studies department or impersonate Richard Nixon, write books or pack an auditorium. He could attack a problem with full academic rigor, or—as former student Nan Enstad, now at Wisconsin-Madison, says, 'create a warmer space to form a community of scholars.' David, you have made a difference here in more ways than we can count or imagine."
Read more about David Noble: http://reach.cla.umn.edu/noble