Denah Lida Papers

Description by Karen Adler Abramson, Associate Director for the Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections

head shot of Denah LidaThe Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections is pleased to make available the personal papers of the late Denah Lida (1923-2007). Professor Lida was a Brandeis faculty member from 1955 to 1986. During her long tenure she served as chair of European Languages, Romance and Comparative Literature, the Joint Program in Literary Studies, and the School of Humanities. She was among the first tenured female faculty members at the university and was the first woman to serve on its faculty senate.

Professor Lida (née Levy) was born and raised in New York City. She received her B. from Hunter College, her MA from Columbia University, and her PhD. from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She returned to the United States in 1954 when her husband, Raimundo Lida, accepted a position at Harvard University. Within a year she was teaching at Brandeis. In 1961, Professor Lida was among the first group of scholars accepted into the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study—now known as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Over the course of her academic career she became a noted scholar in Sephardic studies, Spanish and European theater, and 19th-century fiction and intellectual history.

CapProfessor Lida’s papers include personal and professional correspondence, research notes and typescripts, copies of her publications, items from her personal library, materials related to her personal and family history, and regalia—including her cap and gown from the Universidad Nacional—a striking garment that she continued to wear at Brandeis commencement ceremonies.

Two years before her death, Professor Lida was honored by her colleagues with a festschrift entitled “Studies in Honor of Denah Lida” (2005).

May 28, 2009