Mr. Matthew Wayne Mor­ris

The Covington News - - OBITUARIES -

Phoenix Fu­neral Ser­vices

Matthew Wayne Mor­ris, Emory Univer­sity pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus of French, passed away Jan. 16, 2014, af­ter a long ill­ness. Born Nov. 11, 1942, in the Cincin­nati sub­urb of New­port, Ky., he grew up in Cartersville. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, in­clud­ing one year in Viet­nam in 1967 and three years aboard re­ceived his Ph.D. in Ro­mance Lan­guages from in 1977 and be­gan teach of Emory Univer­sity in 1978. While his spe­cialty was me­dieval French lit­er­a­ture, he en­joyed teach­ing French gram­mar and com­po­si­tion, as well as 17th and 20th cen­tury French lit­er­a­ture, - dents un­til his re­tire­ment in 2008.

Dur­ing sum­mers and - ten­sive re­search in Paris and other French cities, us­ing 14th-cen­tury manuscripts con­cern­ing Melu­sine, the leg­endary an­ces­tor of the Lusig­nan fam­ily, whose de­scen­dants pop­u­lated many royal houses of Europe and the Mid­dle East, with his­tor­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions from the Cru­sades down to to­day’s Mid­dle East­ern sit­u­a­tion. He was awarded the Adele Mellon Prize for Dis­tin­guished Con­tri­bu­tion to Schol­ar­ship in 2003 for a two-vol­ume set on Melu­sine. He pub­lished many other books, in­ter­me­di­ate French with Yale Univer­sity Press in 2004. He also pre­sented many pa­pers at var­i­ous con­fer­ences and had pub­li­ca­tions in schol­arly jour­nals.

His last work was a - tion of pa­pers given at a Col­lo­quium spon­sored jointly by Emory Univer­sity and the French C.N.R.S. held in Poitiers near the an­ces­tral home of the Lusig­nan fam­ily. The Col­lo­quium was presided over by Dr. Mor­ris and Dr. Jean Jac­ques Vin­censini, schol­ars rec­og­nized as the lead­ing the North Amer­i­can and Euro­pean con­ti­nents, re­spec­tively.

Dr. Mor­ris was an ac - cer in var­i­ous learned so­ci­eties, such as the South­east­ern Me­dieval As­so­ci­a­tion, the South At­lantic Mod­ern Lan­guage As­so­ci­a­tion, the Philo­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of the Caroli­nas, and the In­ter­na­tional Me­dieval­ist Congress. He also served as a re­viewer for the Me­dieval Academy of Amer­ica’s Specu­lum and the S.A.M.L.A. Re­view. He has re­cently been ad­viser to Amer­i­can com­poser Steven Jobe, whose opera on Melu­sine is a work in progress. He also served as ac­com­pa­ny­ing pro­fes­sor to a group of Emory re­tirees in June 2013 on a trip to the South of France.

He is sur­vived by Su­san Drin­non Mor­ris, his wife of 47 years; sis­ters, Pat (James) Biddy of Euharlee, and Shirley (Herbert) Pruitt of Dal­ton.; and many nieces and - gia, Alabama, and the Cincin­nati area.

The body will be cre­mated and a celebration of his life is planned in the spring.

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