Dec. 14, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 8

William Youngren Dies; Taught Literature and Music

William Youngren, a retired associate professor in the English Department whose interests extended through both the literary and musical realms, died Nov. 26 in Epoch Senior Healthcare of Chestnut Hill. He was 75.

Prof. Youngren joined the Boston College faculty in 1970 and taught courses in literary theory, 18th-century literature, jazz, Wagner, Haydn and Mozart before retiring in 2001.

The author of Semantics, Linguistics, and Criticism, his academic interests included German and English 18th-century and Romantic periods, and in developing courses on the relation between music and literature.

Colleagues, friends and family members recalled him as an avid piano player who could appreciate the jazz stylings of Jelly Roll Morton as well as the operas of Richard Wagner. Prof. Youngren wrote music criticism for The Atlantic Monthly and published a book in 2003 on the songs of C.P.E. Bach, based on the dissertation he completed for a doctorate in musicology at Brandeis University.

"He was a brilliant man - alert, alive intellectually," said Rattigan Professor of English Emeritus John L. Mahoney, interviewed by The Boston Globe. "The variety of his interests, and the variety of his academic competencies, was amazing."

A resident of Evanston, Ill., Prof. Youngren earned a bachelor's degree in English from Amherst College in 1953 and a doctorate in English literature from Harvard University in 1961. Prior to BC, he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Smith College.

Prof. Youngren is survived by his wife Virginia, daughters Valerie and Erica and son Austin Richards.

-Office of Public Affairs

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