Colby H. Kullman

Published 4:42 pm Monday, August 15, 2022

Dr. Colby H. Kullman, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Mississippi, where he taught from 1984 until 2012, died peacefully on August 9, 2022. Colby was the son of the late Edgar Frederich Kullman and Doris Peabody Kullman. He was preceded in death by his adopted father and partner of seventeen years, the Reverend William C. Young. He is also preceded in death by his brother, Russell Peabody Kullman.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date at the Paris-Yates Chapel on the campus of The University of Mississippi. Detailed service information will beupdated here as soon as it’s available.

Dr. Kullman graduated from Our Saviour Lutheran High School in the Bronx in 1962 as Valedictorian, DePauw University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), University of Chicago in 1968 with a Master of Arts, and University of Kansas in 1973 with a Master of Philosophy and in 1981 with a Ph.D.

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He was privileged to teach at the University of Kansas from 1969 to 1978 and then University of Mississippi where he taught modern drama, expository writing, and 18th Century British literature. He is editor of the two-volume reference work THEATRE COMPANIES OF THE WORLD (1986), is co-founder and co-editor (with Philip C. Kolin) of the journal STUDIES IN AMERICAN DRAMA, 1945-PRESENT (1986- 1994), and co-editor of SPEAKING ON STAGE (1996, with Philip C. Kolin). His interview with Arthur Miller appeared in the fall 1998 MICHIGAN QUARTERLY
REVIEW, a special edition of the journal celebrating Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN at fifty. From 1995 until 2014, he has given tours of Tennessee Williams’s Mississippi Delta.

In 1995, he was awarded the University of Mississippi’s Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year; in 1997, he was elected as Ole Miss’s Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher; in 2001, and he was celebrated with a Phi Kappa Phi Award for Contributions to Excellence in Higher Education; in 2006, he received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the South-Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; and he was chosen as the Mississippi Humanities Council’s “2011 Scholar of the Year.” He is on the National Advisory Boards of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference (Valdez, Alaska), Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (Clarksdale, Mississippi), and the William Inge Theatre Festival (Independence, Kansas). He has also served terms on the Boards of the College English Association, The Mississippi Council of Teachers of English, the Yoknpatawpha Arts Council, the Ole Miss Retirees Association, and Friends of the John D. Williams Library at Ole Miss.

Colby is survived by his adopted son Richard Herzog, his wife Cindy, and their children Emily and Clayton Herzog. Also surviving him are his nephews and nieces: Jeni Beebe, Tracie Luhman (Ken), Kenneth Kullman (Artie), Chris Kullman (Martha), and Maria Kullman; six grand nephews and nieces—Chase Beebe (Racquel), Sammi Beebe, Amanda Callahan Preciado (Michael), Rylee Callahan Janecek (Ryan), Shane Callahan, Sidney Luhman; and great grand niece and nephew Lucas and Harper Preciado, along with his namesake and cousin, Colby Maye. Cousins Sandy and David Steitz were the delights of his life.

Colby has endless gratitude for The University of Mississippi for rescuing him from seventeen years in the exploitive world of part-time academic appointments and giving him a tenure track position in 1984 when he was 39 years old. He gained great pleasure from his students’ happiness and success, truly cherishing and enjoying life as a teacher.

Memorials may be made to the graduate fellowship in his name at the Department of English at the University of Mississippi (University, MS 38677) or the charity of your choice.