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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 22, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 42
 
Jose Monleon, 55, Vice Chair of Romance Languages, Literatures
Jose Monleon, vice chair of Romance Languages and Literatures for the past three years and a well-known critic and historian on modern Spanish literature, died on Aug. 11. The cause was cancer. He was 55.

Stephen G. Nichols, James M. Beall Professor of French and Humanities and chair of Romance Languages and Literatures, said that Monleon brought a special blend of vision and optimism not only to the Spanish section but to the department as a whole.

Nichols said that under Monleon�s leadership, the department initiated a successful foreign study program in Madrid and that the undergraduate programs in Romance Languages have been �immeasurably strengthened thanks largely to suggestions put forward�with his signature modesty and quiet humor�by Jose.�

A professor of 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literature as well as of literary theory, Monleon completed his last book, Literature and Dictatorship: The Novel under Franco, shortly before his illness. Monleon published some six editions of modern Spanish authors such as Gustavo Becquer, Juan Valera and Benito Perez Galdos. He also wrote a well-known study of the literature of the fantastic in Spanish: Specter Is Haunting Europe: A Sociohistorical Approach to the Fantastic.

�As a critic, Jose had a unique talent for exploring the interface of history and literature�a talent he communicated brilliantly in his seminars,� Nichols said. �Jose was not simply a good teacher; he was a gifted one.�

Born in Spain, Monleon came to the United States for his university training. He received both his bachelor�s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, San Diego. Before joining Johns Hopkins in 2002, he taught at Dartmouth College and at UCLA.

Monleon is survived by his wife, Barbara Zecchi, a visiting associate professor in Romance Languages, and their son, Michael.

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