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Carole Anne Smith Taylor ’65, MAT ’67

A picture of Carole Smith Taylor

Carole Anne Smith Taylor ’65, MAT ’67, March 11, 2015, in Scarborough, Maine.

Carole earned a BA from Reed in general literature and a master’s degree in teaching. Her adviser, Prof. George Roush [English 1964–70], assisted with her thesis “Piers the Plowman: Toward a Re-Evaluation of the Allegorical Method.”

 “Carole and I were freshmen roommates and then good friends again for the last 20-plus years,” writes Cynthia Brodine Snow ’65. “I have never known a more thoughtful and imaginative person or anyone as committed to social justice. That first year at Reed, Carole threw herself into an acting class (a monkey, in our Abington room) and created interesting dialogues with the rudiments of first-year German. She erupted from the bathtub one evening and rushed off to the music building, having been struck by inspiration for the incidental music she was writing for a production of The Tempest. We shared a love of folk dancing throughout our years at Reed, and she was still dancing along with Serbian folk dance videos the last time I saw her.”

Carole studied at Harvard and devoted her life to work in social justice, scholarship, and teaching. She joined the faculty in English at Bates College in 1978 and became one of the first women to earn tenure there. She was promoted to full professor of English in 1993. She was a founding member of the programs in African American Studies and American Cultural Studies, and played a crucial role in developing Bates’ first affirmative action policy in the ’80s. She won the Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching—twice—and retired in 2011.

“Carole played a crucial role in transforming the college from what it was then into the Bates of 2011,” wrote Prof. Lillian Nayder. “A liberal arts institution still, but one in which gender, class, and race are significant categories of critical analysis.” Prof. Charles Carnegie called Carole “a champion of justice both on campus and in the wider community, who encouraged students to bridge the divide between theory and practice.”

Carole wrote The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance: Reading Modernity through Black Women’s Fiction and A Poetics of Seeing: The Implications of Visual Form in Modern Poetry.

During her marriage to Peter Taylor MAT ’67, she had one son, Eric, who survives her, as do her partner William Corlett, two granddaughters, and a brother and sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2015

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