In Memoriam: Craufurd Goodwin

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April 26, 2017

Within the Graduate Liberal Studies community, Craufurd Goodwin has a special legacy: as Dean of the Graduate School, he founded the Graduate Liberal Studies program in 1984 and remained deeply involved with and supportive of GLS until the present day.  He taught his GLS course on the Bloomsbury Group numerous times, including as a study abroad in England.  He was an inspirational member of the GLS faculty advisory committee over many years, a gifted teacher, and a mentor to GLS students.   And always, he was generous, gracious, witty, a friend. His expectations of every student with whom he worked and indeed of the GLS program were of the highest: deep scholarship, intellectual passion and true engagement, real accomplishment.

Professor Goodwin believed in the necessity of interdisciplinary breadth in study and in the importance of the public intellectual as evidenced in his scholarship, the projects that he envisioned and championed, and his service to the university.  One such vision that he enthusiastically promoted while Dean of the Graduate School in the early 1980s is the Graduate Liberal Studies program.  In a press release advertising Duke’s new MALS program in 1984, Professor Goodwin addresses the value of breadth in a graduate education, “There are tangible benefits of a liberal studies graduate degree … [T]oday’s marketplace calls for professionals with inquisitive minds to put good ideas into practice.”  In the same document, he describes the new program as “designed for people who have come to appreciate life’s complexities and who are intensely curious about the world in which they live.  Unlike traditional graduate programs, Duke’s MALS program provides a multidisciplinary experience, which broadens the range of knowledge while deepening understanding in select areas.”

Roy Weintraub, Professor Emeritus of Economics, captures the interdisciplinary spirit of Craufurd Goodwin’s own scholarship and intellectual interests: “His scholarly work primarily concerned the history of the use of economics in public life.  .... ​His writings encompassed the role of economics in the arts, in literature, in journalism, and in the policy arena and the way institutions like foundations and think tanks helped to shape the nature of economics education and analysis around the world.  A past President and Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society, he was instrumental in the construction of the professional community of historians of economics. A recent biography called Craufurd Goodwin “[a]n exemplar of the profession of humane letters,” whose “writing and research display a breathtaking range, including higher education, energy policy, national security, the marginal revolution in economics, public support for the arts, and, most recently, environmentalism and the use of literature in economics.”

Professor Goodwin and his wife Nancy over many years enjoyed and collected Bloomsbury art.  Professor Goodwin himself was a scholar of the Bloomsbury Group. In 2008-2009, he was the motivating force and organizer behind a year-long celebration of Bloomsbury: “Vision and Design: A Year of Bloomsbury.”  Events included panels on Gender and Sexuality, Empire and the Cosmopolitan, and John Maynard Keynes.  DukeReads sponsored an online discussion of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End. The Perkins Gallery hosted an exhibition, “How full of life those days seemed: New Approaches to Art, Literature, Sexuality and Society in Bloomsbury,” featuring books, manuscripts and objects relating to the Bloomsbury Group and the Hogarth Press.  The year pivoted on two large events: the Nasher exhibition, “A Room of their Own: Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections” and the Alumni Duke-in-Depth weekend conference, “Bloomsbury Vision and Design,” which brought international scholars to Duke.

The interdisciplinary intellectual and creative exchanges that characterized the diverse work of Bloomsbury artists and writers parallel Craufurd Goodwin’s own interdisciplinary intellectual path, and perhaps also explain his long engagement with Bloomsbury.  Certainly, a spirit of generous intellectual exchange pervades Professor Goodwin’s writing, scholarship, and impassioned projects, whether editing an important interdisciplinary academic journal, The History of Political Economy, collecting and writing about American hand-woven coverlets, or shepherding a graduate program such as GLS towards continuing excellence.  In 2008, he said, “The Bloomsbury Group continually challenged conventional wisdom through active and ongoing conversation – in their art, their writings, their activism as well as one-on-one conversations in each others’ living rooms.” Professor Goodwin said in an address to GLS graduates in May 2014 that GLS from its inception swam against the tides, including the tradition that higher education was for the young, rather than taking place at any time in life, and that indeed it should never stop.  Concerned that disciplines “for the most part must operate within tight silos and behind protective barriers,” he celebrated GLS classes in which “we use whatever materials seem relevant to the issue at hand.   I, a mere economist, talk in my MALS class about English literature and art history, two areas in which I have a deep interest but in which I have not myself ever taken a class.”  In addition, he said in this address that the liberal studies are still not taken seriously, and considered “to be dispensed, if at all, through online courses or large and entertaining experiences by gifted performers.”  Seeing in our program the intimacy of Bloomsbury conversation, Professor Goodwin said, “By contrast we have remained committed to the Socratic method in small participatory seminars.”

Given his many and indeed multidisciplinary interests, it is telling that Professor Goodwin’s recent book publication is Walter Lippmann: Public Economist (Harvard University Press 2014).  It explores the writing of the great American journalist Walter Lippmann as a public intellectual.  As Glenn Altschuler (American Studies, Cornell) says in his review of Professor Goodwin’s book, “The result [of Goodwin’s focus on Lippmann as a public philosopher] is an informative account of the challenges of living in a democracy in which millions of citizens appear to lack the knowledge and discipline to address problems ‘which press for solutions.’”

GLS staff and students know well Craufurd Goodwin’s warmth, good humor, humility and seriousness, which were evident in his daily interactions.  He was a superb raconteur, who enjoyed listening to a story as much as telling his own.  And in all, one glimpsed the intellectual capaciousness of a scholarly life lived in the public realm.  Well-lived. Long-remembered. 


Craufurd Goodwin supervised the following GLS master’s projects:

Richard L. Barlow (2016) “From Prose to Policy: Leonard Woolf’s Literary Journey from Unconscious Imperialist to Conscientious Internationalist”

Adrienne Bell (2001) “Rediscovering David Garnett”

Lexy Durand (2003) “Literary Creativity: Unwrapping the Gift”

Jeremy Aaron Evans (2001) “The Emerging Field of Neuroethics: a New Science of Morality”

Emily Gibson Galik (Dill) (2003) “The Greening of E.M. Forster: Origins of the Modern Environmental Movement”

Jane Elizabeth Kasper (2001) “A Stream of Consciousness Biography: a Series of Sketches of the Sickle Side of the Moon, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.  A Play in 3 Acts”

Marianne Marlo (2000) “War and Peace in the Lives and Writings of Leonard and Virginia Woolf”

Muriel Gold Roll (2007) “E.M. Forster: Three Stories”

Carrie Lynn Sweet (2011) “The Biltmore Estate and the Birth of Forestry in America”

Cheryl Capaldo Traylor (2014) “Bloomsbury and the Natural World”

Anna Rosser Upchurch (2003) “Maynard Keynes and Vincent Massey: the Origins of the Arts Council Model in Great Britain and Canada”

Rose Harfield Wilson (2010) “More than Congenial Spirits: Toward a Social Network Analysis of the Bloomsbury Group”

Amy Vickers Wood (1997) “A Moment of Vision”

For more about Professor Goodwin's distinguished career, read this remembrance in DukeToday.