W&M English professor of 24 years dies unexpectedly

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(Courtesy W&M)
(Courtesy W&M)

Paula Blank, a professor in William and Mary’s English department, died unexpectedly at her home in Williamsburg Sunday, according to a message sent to the campus community Monday.

“With deep sorrow I share the sad news,” wrote Provost Michael Halleran. “Professor Blank, who had been at William & Mary since 1992, touched many lives on and off campus through her work as a scholar and teacher.”

Blank specialized in Shakespeare, Renaissance poetry and poetics, linguistics and literature, Renaissance gender and sexuality. She was the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the American Council of Learned Societies, the message stated.

In 2010, she received a Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, an honor given annually by the college in recognition of exemplary achievements in teaching, research and service. Blank served as a longstanding member and former chair of both the personnel and undergraduate program committees within the English Department.

The college will share additional information on services and arrangements as it becomes available.