It is with sorrow that we mark the passing of Robert G. Ousterhout (January 16, 1950–April 23, 2023). Bob, as he was universally known, was an esteemed, prolific scholar, a generous mentor, an invaluable colleague, and a beloved friend.
Bob was a strong supporter of BSANA, serving multiple terms on the Governing Board, and was a constant presence at the annual conference, which he twice hosted. He had long associations with Dumbarton Oaks, where he was both a Junior and Senior Scholar, and was twice a symposiarch for the annual Symposium. He was also closely affiliated with ANAMED, serving on the first Advisory Board, and organizing the “Cappadocia in Context” summer program, where students learned in the field, from the master himself. He was an ally for imperiled monuments, serving as a consultant for many international entities, including UNESCO and the WMF.
Bob taught at the University of Oregon, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Pennsylvania until his retirement in 2017. He is the author, or co-author, of more than 20 books, as well as countless articles, reviews, op-eds, blog posts, and videos. His impact on the field of Byzantine Studies was recognized by the Medieval Academy of America in 2021, with the Haskins Medal.
Bob lived a big life. Whether (allegedly) organizing a water ballet in the Dumbarton Oaks pool while a Junior Fellow, hosting and feeding class after class of students at his home, organizing impromptu dance parties at conferences, or throwing baby showers, Bob celebrated life. He was funny, insightful, and always generous with his time and influence. He will be missed.
We send our deepest condolences to his family.
For a complete listing of Bob’s publications, see his Emeritus Faculty page at the University of Pennsylvania.
For further remembrances:
Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies