Donald Keene (1922– )
Scholar of Japanese literature
Columbia College 1942, PhD 1949, LittD (hon.) 1997
Faculty 1955–97, Emeritus 1997–present
Donald Keene's lifetime of scholarship has so dominated the field of Japanese literature (of all periods and genres) that it has become an impossible challenge to make any kind of contribution without drawing on or referring to it. His scholarship has from the start been characterized by his thorough-going familiarity with European and North American literature and culture (especially the libretti of his beloved opera), as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of Japanese literature. Further, Donald has done all this in his characteristically unassuming way, assisting countless younger scholars along the way to positions of prominence. He is an intellectual giant.
Peter Nosco, Columbia College 1971, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1978, who is solely responsible for content.