Esteemed Literary Critic J. Hillis Miller Passes at Age 92

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The English Department mourns the passing of J. Hillis Miller, Jr., a major literary critic and theorist who taught at Johns Hopkins from 1953 to 1972, and served as senior member of ELH‘s editorial board from 1955 through 2021. Professor Miller was famously a key exponent of the ideas of deconstruction that took the American academy by storm in the 1970s and ’80s, but by the time of the deconstructive revolution he was already a well-established and brilliant scholar. From his first book, Charles Dickens: The World of His Novels (1958) to his twenty-ninth, Communities in Fiction (2014), Professor Miller shaped our ideas about rhetoric and fiction, literature and ethics, and the whole range of ways that texts can and cannot say what they mean. He was a legendary teacher and the life-changing mentor of generations of scholars. We remember him today, and celebrate his work, which continues to light up minds and inspire new scholarship.