It is with deep sadness that we inform the university community of the Río Piedras campus of the passing of Dr. Mark Pedreira, Professor of the Department of English, College of Humanities.
Dr. Pedreira had an impressive list of academic achievements. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from Wheaton College (1985) and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Eighteenth-century British Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Maryland, College Park (1994). His doctoral dissertation, Samuel Johnson’s Rhetorical Art: Topical and Figurative Copia in the Age of Locke, was directed by some of the top scholars in his field: Dr. Michael Marcuse, Dr. Jeanne Fahnestock, and Dr. Mark Turner
Before joining the University of Puerto Rico in 1999, he first taught as a visiting professor at both Chonbuk National University in South Korea and at Boston University. At UPR-RP he taught and created a variety of courses on British Literature, e.g. Shakespeare and Film, Samuel Johnson, and John Milton. He was deeply respected by his colleagues both for his ability to connect with his students as well as for his rigorous scholarship. He leaves behind a significant academic legacy, publishing on metaphor theory, lexicography, and poetics with such prestigious presses as Oxford University, Bucknell, and Wiley-Blackwell. He recently organized multiple panels on the poet Abraham Cowley for ASECS (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies) where he delivered his work alongside other prominent Cowley scholars. After many years of painstaking research on Johnson’s Dictionary, Dr. Pedreira was invited to join the Johnson Club, a select distinction reserved for only the most devoted scholars of Samuel Johnson’s work. He was a scholar in the truest sense of the word.
Beyond his academic accomplishments, Dr. Pedreira was a beloved teacher, colleague and loyal friend known best for his smile and outgoing personality. From Jazz, to fine cigars, to food, to studying Greek, Latin, and German in his spare time, he showed great passion for the things he loved. That included Puerto Rico and the University of Puerto Rico. Throughout our recent struggles with hurricanes and budget cuts, Dr. Pedreira maintained his optimism for the institution to which he devoted 22 years of his career.
This is an enormous loss for the UPR community of someone who made significant contributions both to our campus and to the academic world at large, and who at the young age of 57 had much more to give. We send our condolences to his partner, his two sisters and brother, as well as to his parents who still reside in the Washington, D.C. area where Dr. Pedreira was raised. His enthusiasm, his sense of humor, and his laughter will be greatly missed.