We are grieved to announce the passing of our friend and colleague Susan Berry Brill de Ramírez. Susan was a generous and brilliant mind and voice in Indigenous literary studies. She was the Caterpillar Professor of English at Bradley University in Peoria, IL, where she started in 1991. In the time since her passing, colleagues have reminisced on the ASAIL listserv, remembering times of sharing hotel rooms with Susan at conferences or discussing any manner of topics with her over food and drink. She was a singularly kind individual. What has stood out in most memories about her is the ways Susan took it upon herself to help those around her. She cared about the people and relationships she had with each of us, which was clear in her devotion to Indigenous studies but also to issues of social justice more broadly
Susan published a multitude of books and articles whose effects will continue to ripple throughout Indigenous studies and beyond. She is the writer of Wittgenstein and Critical Theory (1995), Contemporary American Indian Literatures and the Oral Tradition (1999), Native American Life-History Narratives (2007), Women Ethnographers and Native Women Storytellers (2014), and Make College Work for You (2014), and is the co-editor, with Evelina Zuni Lucero, of Simon J. Ortiz: A Poetic Legacy of Indigenous Continuance (2009).
Susan will be deeply missed by all of her colleagues, each of whom she affected in some way. We wish her well on her journey.
Donations can be made in her memory to the Bradley University English Department. Please make donations stating that they are “In Memory of Dr. Susan Brill de Ramirez for the Bradley University English Department,” 1501 W Bradley Ave., Peoria, IL 61625. Members of the Baha’i faith may make donations to The Baha’i Center, 5209 N. University, Peoria, IL 61604.