Esther Clinton, 1971-2022

In Memoriam
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We are saddened to learn of the passing of Esther Clinton, professor at Bowling Green State University’s Department of Popular Culture. She died on July 17, 2022.

Admired by her colleagues and loved by all, Esther Clinton was a remarkable scholar and celebrated teacher. While a part of Bowling Green State University’s world-famous Department of Popular Culture, Esther taught classes on heroes, villains, and tricksters; folktales, popular literature; world religions; and advanced cultural theory. She presented at academic conferences around the world and published widely, in areas ranging from proverb use in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to parallels between heavy metal music and gothic literature, to the intersection of postcolonial theory and ethnomusicology.

Her classes were known for their intellectual rigor. Esther encouraged students to question taken-for-granted assumptions and to grapple with the burning issues of existence. She was a favorite among graduate students and served on over sixty thesis committees. Yet for all her academic, pedagogical, and creative accomplishments, Esther is remembered by those closest to her for her kindness and her almost superhuman powers of empathy.

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