Professor Elizabeth Duquette Retires from English Department

By Alicia Method, Staff Writer

English professor Elizabeth Duquette (Photo provided)

English professor Elizabeth Duquette (Photo provided)

English professor Elizabeth Duquette retired from her position at Gettysburg College this past fall.

Duquette was known for her classes on 19th-century American literature and editing. However, her road to becoming a professor at Gettysburg did not begin with literature.

As an undergraduate student, Duquette was a philosophy major. After graduation, she worked as an art gallery curator, municipal bonds broker on Wall Street, and for a public radio station at Boston University. 

While working at Boston University, Duquette took courses in English and discovered a new passion.

“I’d never really taken English courses as an undergraduate and I loved them,” Duquette said.

After recognizing her love for literature, Duquette acquired her Ph.D. and became a 19th-century Americanist. Duqeutte described her journey as “a story of accident and luck for which I’m deeply grateful.”

Duquette recalled many fond memories from her time at Gettysburg such as great conversations with students and the relationships she formed with English faculty members.  She said the department “felt like a big family.” 

Laurel Bennett ’24 was a past student of Duquette’s. Bennett reflected on Duquette’s tenure at Gettysburg and her retirement.

“Professor Duquette is one of my favorite professors I’ve had so far in my time at Gettysburg,” said Bennett. “I appreciated how she created such a fun but educational classroom environment. She made me look forward to attending class everyday, and for selfish reasons I wish she hadn’t retired so I could’ve taken more classes with her.”

Sabrina Robinette ’23, another student of Duquette’s, commented on past classes she had taken with Duquette.

“Her editing class was the most practical class I’ve taken at Gettysburg…she’s a really engaging speaker, as well as a really compassionate person,” Robinette said.

Duquette shared that she does not feel finished with her work, yet her commute from her home base of Oregon has proved strenuous.

Despite retiring, Duquette will continue to work with writers and students. Duquette serves as an editor-in-chief for J19, The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.  She also assists historically underrepresented authors for the American Art Magazine that the Smithsonian prints.

Duquette is currently writing a biography of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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