In Memoriam: Wendy Robbins

We are sad to announce that Dr. Wendy Robbins died on Tuesday, April 18 after a brief illness — the result of an aneurysm and ensuing complications.

Wendy was the longest-serving member of the English department and a pioneer at the University of New Brunswick. A scholar of Women’s Studies and Canadian literature, she became an editor of Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne in 1984 at the very start of her UNB career. During the five years that Wendy worked as an editor or managing editor at SCL/ÉLC she helped edit the journal’s 10th anniversary volume, participated in the changeover to a computerized production system, and saw the journal through its first major cover redesign. Wendy was also a co-founder in 1986 of UNB’s Women’s Studies program (now Gender and Women’s Studies), a former president of the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, and a recipient of the Allan P. Stuart Award for excellence in teaching (UNB’s highest teaching award). A committed activist for women’s rights and gender equity both within the Canadian academic community and in the wider world, Wendy received in 2007, a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, which recognizes outstanding contributions in the advancement of equality for women in Canada.

Wendy will be deeply missed by her family, colleagues, students, her many friends and the greater community. A memorial service at UNB is being planned for May and the English department has set up a remembrance book for people who are interested in sharing their memories and condolences. For those not at UNB, who are interested in contributing to this book, please email your comments to the chair of department Dr. John Ball (jball@unb.ca). This book will be shared with her children.

CBC New Brunswick also published on its website an article, highlighting Wendy’s community and political activism.