University community remembers contributions of Floyd Horowitz

Fri, 08/15/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of Floyd Horowitz, retired professor of English. Horowitz, 84, died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease Aug. 9 in New York City.

Horowitz joined the university as an English instructor in 1961. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1963, to associate professor in 1967, then to professor in 1973. In the mid-1960s he began exploring uses of computing technology in the humanities. For a year he held a joint appointment with the then-named KU Computing Center and later in the Department of Computer Science.

He was a founding editor of Computer Studies, the first scholarly journal dedicated to computer use in the humanities. He was acting chairman of the Department of Computer Science from 1972 to 1975. He retired in 1993.

“I join the KU community in offering my sympathies to Floyd Horowitz’s family and friends,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. “We remember him as a scholar who adeptly straddled the humanities and the sciences, and as a friend to the university.”

For more than 20 years, he and his wife, Frances Degen Horowitz, have had a Hall Center for the Humanities annual lecture named in their honor —  the Frances and Floyd Horowitz Lecture Series, devoted to issues related to our multicultural society. Frances Horowitz is a former KU vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at KU.

Both individually and as a couple, the Horowitzes gifted items to the university’s Spencer Research Library.

“Floyd Horowitz was a good-humored and versatile colleague who taught a variety of American literature courses,” said James Carothers, professor of English. “He was among the first of the university’s humanists to see the vast potential for computer applications to our society as a whole and to the university, the humanities in particular. He took leadership in the founding of the Department of Computer Science and in the application of its work throughout the academy. Although he left KU in 1993, his influence remains.”

Funeral services were Aug. 13 in New York City. 



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