an image of Hazard S. Adams with a blue background and text that reads In Memoriam(1926-2023)

The founding faculty member of UCI’s Department of English and Comparative Literature, Emeritus Professor Hazard S. Adams, passed away on February 24th. He was 97 years old.

Professor Adams was involved in developing many of the transformative academic programs that continue to make UCI humanities distinctive. In addition to developing M.A. and Ph.D. programs in English and comparative literature, Adams developed the first M.F.A. program in creative writing in the University of California system. Alongside Murray Krieger, Adams founded the School of Criticism and Theory at UCI, now located at Cornell. 

Adams was a prolific scholar, writing or editing more than 30 books. Perhaps best known for his work on William Blake, he published on William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Joyce Cary. His anthology Critical Theory Since Plato (1971) was one of the first anthologies of its kind. It has influenced several generations of students. 

Professor Adams was also known for his extraordinary service to the campus, having served as Dean of Humanities from 1970-72, and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs from 1972-74. In his role as department chair in the early days on campus, he served on virtually every committee on campus, including physical planning. He also developed the Humanities Core Course, which was the first large interdisciplinary humanities offering for undergraduates and is still going strong today. Recognizing his many contributions to the campus, he was awarded the “Extraordinarius” award by the UCI Alumni Association.

Through his scholarship, generous service, and formative influence on the School of Humanities, Adams leaves a lasting mark at UCI and beyond.

Comparative Literature