Morris Eaves

Messages and Condolences

Headshot of Morris Eaves.

The University of Rochester's Department of English is remembering Morris Eaves as an irreverent innovator, a steadfast colleague, and a devoted teacher.

Drawing on his expertise in multimedia editing, media history, and British Romanticism, Eaves co-founded and co-edited The William Blake Archive; established in 1994, the Archive represented a groundbreaking achievement in digital scholarship and remains the indisputable epicenter of Blake studies worldwide. In his 37-year tenure at the University, Eaves touched the lives of hundreds of undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars.

We will miss his dauntless outlook, his never-ending curiosity, and his fervor for teaching new generations of students.

Morris Eaves, English professor who breathed new life into William Blake scholarship, remembered

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Memories and Tributes

"My first ever English class at U of R was with Morris. I’ll never forget how excited it made me to continue my English major. He was a beloved professor who touched many students’ lives."

Isabel Rivera '23

"I will always remember Professor Eaves for his warm smile, his irreverent humor, and his depth and breadth of knowledge. His lectures on British Romantic poetry still influence how I teach it to my own students today. Thank you, Professor Eaves, for the joy you brought to my undergraduate learning, and for making me a better scholar and writer."

Angela (Cucci) Rice, BA English '03

"Professor Eaves was one of the brightest lights in the Humanities faculty when I was at Rochester. I'll remember his warmth and wit, his resonant voice, and his Southern accent. It was all one package, irreplaceable."

Alan Unsworth, retired librarian

"Rest in peace, Morris. You were a great man, thinker, teacher, and advisor -- great because you treated both people and ideas with a spirit of intellectual openness, wry humor, and humane generosity. You will be deeply missed."

'May you continue to be so more & more & to be more and more persuaded, that every mortal loss is an Immortal Gain. The Ruins of Time builds Mansions in Eternity.' -- William Blake

Shannon J. , MA English, '17

"Morris was such a wonderful collaborator--so kind and generous with his time. The library's digital humanities program owes a lot to Morris's pioneering work with the Blake Archive and his work at IATH at UVA. I learned so much from Morris and his graduate students. Thank you, Morris!"

Nora Dimmock, former library staff member

"Morris was such an important part of my experience at U of R. I’m not sure I would have completed my PhD without him. He was down to earth, authentic, funny, brilliant, kind. His Blake seminar was a highlight of my graduate school experience. He brought everything to life with enthusiasm, curiosity, that mischievous sparkle in his eye, and some well-timed profanity. He was a throwback. Very little jargon. No pretensions. Just love for learning and his students. I’m so grateful I got to work with him. Sending my best to his loved ones."

Joe Vogel, PhD English '14

"Morris, I'll miss many things about you. Your intellect keen like a blade but wielded always with generosity.  Your love for life, of food and wine, film and warm spring days. Your wit, which found the amusing and the intriguing in all things. But I'll miss your laughter most of all. Rest in Peace"

Jim Rankine, PhD '21

"It was a different world with Morris in it; without him it's another world entirely. As my PhD advisor, Morris guided me into the world of academe in a way that only he could do. He helped me articulate some heady ideas. He always helped me find words. Now it feels like I have none."

Tom Hothem, University of California, Merced

"UR has lost one of its most excellent educators. I met Morris as a graduate student 17 years ago and was inspired by his caring but irreverent classroom presence, combined with an unparalleled expertise in literature and literary history. Since I started directing the debate program ten years ago, Morris has been a strong supporter and ally of everything we do, appreciating the value of our activity despite (or perhaps because of) its idiosyncrasies. He was someone who always appreciated experimentation and creativity, and regularly welcomed me into his courses to speak about debate. We will miss him as a strong supporter of what we do and as a caring presence in the English Department and at the University as a whole. Rest in peace, Morris."

Brady Fletcher, Director of Debate, University of Rochester

"I was so lucky to work closely with Morris during my time at UR, via my dissertation (he was my advisor) and my role on the William Blake Archive. He was an exceptional scholar, teacher, and human being. He's also someone I can call to mind instantly – his wonderful sense of humor, mischievous smile, and generosity of spirit are so present for me, even though we hadn't had a proper conversation in years. He made such an impression on me that I gave my daughter, Elswyth, the nickname "Thel" as a way to honor him and his passion for William Blake. Thank you for everything Morris. You made the world so much brighter."

Ali McGhee, English PhD '16