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Richard Lloyd Regosin
In Memoriam

Richard Lloyd Regosin

Professor Emeritus, French

UC Irvine

Our distinguished colleague, Richard Lloyd Regosin, Professor of French at UCI from 1969-2008, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

With his trim profile, Long Island accent and shock of white hair, Richard Regosin was a familiar figure on the UCI campus, where he began teaching almost at its founding. Professor Regosin engaged himself deeply and effectively with other dynamic faculty like Murray Krieger and Hazard Adams in putting the fledgling School of Humanities on the intellectual map. As the strong, judicious Chair of French for over 14 years, and working from a variety of positions School and Campus-wide, he was involved in much of the innovative hiring that gave the School of Humanities luster and put UCI French among the top ten graduate programs in the country. Richard Regosin had an enduring belief in faculty governance and did extraordinary service in support of it. Besides stints directing the Humanities Core Course, the Humanities Honors Program, and the NEH- UCI Institute for Humanities, he was often to be found chairing or serving as a member of committees at every level of the UC system. As he moved into retirement, and in recognition of his talent for institution-building, he was asked to serve on CAP at the new UC Merced. He was still serving on it at his death.

Professor Regosin was a renowned scholar of Renaissance literature, with theoretical interests and a specialization in Montaigne. His first book, The Poetry of Inspiration: Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques, was followed by two important and widely-cited books on Montaigne: The Matter of My Book: Montaigne’s Essais as the Book of the Self and Montaigne’s Unruly Brood. Textual Engendering and the Challenge to Paternal Authority. He published articles on Renaissance topics from Marguerite de Navarre, Agrippa d’Aubigné, Du Bellay, de la Boétie, du Fail, Rabelais, and the Lyon school, and this, along with the work on Montaigne earned him an international reputation as a scholar who could make the Renaissance speak to contemporary critical issues. In the years since retirement, he continued to work on the French authors who had long concerned him, and surprised his friends by developing a passion for and expertise on Abraham Lincoln.

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1937 and removed to Rockville Center as a child, he came by his Long Island accent honestly. It was in high school there that he met the love of his life, Barbara, his wife of 52 years. He took his BA at Dartmouth and his PhD at The Johns Hopkins University, in the heyday of French studies at that institution. After six years teaching at Dartmouth, he arrived in Irvine, where he settled in University Park and had three daughters. Houses in Irvine are built without libraries or cellars. Because Richard Regosin was—besides a devoted family man, an inspired cook and an avid cyclist—a lover of fine wines that need cool storage, his house now has a wine cellar. Because he was above all a scholar, he had already made over the room in which he spent most of his waking time to papers and books. He brought a broad experience and set of interests as well as a skeptical, questing, wide-ranging mind to his work, just like Montaigne; and, also like Montaigne, who built a library into which he retreated to read and write while keeping at least one foot firmly in the world of family, friends, and practical life, Richard Regosin built himself a house for happiness.

He will be much missed by his wife, his daughters and their partners, his five grandchildren and his many and varied friends inside UCI and outside of it.

Georges Van Den Abbeele
Dean, School of Humanities