Monday, August 31, 2020

Help celebrate Professor Foster's Birthday

On September 11, 2020, we will be celebrating David's birthday - he would have been 80 years old this year. As many of you know, his life was devoted to his students and the ability to connect with, mentor and celebrate them. 

In that vein, we, as his family, are asking you to help us to celebrate his birthday and keep his memory alive by continuing his support of students through the 

"Foster Latin-American Research Fellowship Endowment

at the Arizona State University Foundation. We have a goal of adding $80,000 to the endowment this year in honor of his 80th birthday. Any little bit helps-whether it be a one-time donation or an ongoing one. Together we can make sure that Professor Foster's impact lives on for generations to come. 

We have currently postponed his memorial service until a later date, when it can be held safely, but until that time, help us celebrate and honor his life's work. 

Click below to donate: 

Foster Latin-American Research Fellowship Endowment

Please share with anyone that wants to help keep his work and memory going.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


Dear friends of David William Foster, 

Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances around COVID-19 and the unlikelihood that we will be able to have a large gathering on September 11, 2020, we are postponing David's memorial service. When a new date is determined, the information will be posted here. 

However, to get on a list to receive an update by email, you can RSVP below to receive updates. 

Thank you.

The Foster Family

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Memorial Service for David William Foster

Please join us in a celebration of David's life on his birthday, Friday, September 11, 2020, at Brophy Chapel in Phoenix at 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception. Please respond at the link below so we can prepare for seating and keep you updated on details:

Obituary from Arizona Republic

with excepts from

My dear friend, David William Foster, Regents Professor at Arizona State University, died peacefully on June 24, 2020 at age 79. His Arizona State University (ASU) bio doesn’t begin to capture the man in full, but it’s worth quoting at length because of the depth and breadth of his accomplishments:

David William Foster, a Regents Professor of Spanish and women and gender studies at Arizona State University has written extensively on Argentine narrative and theater, and he has held Fulbright teaching appointments in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. He has also served as an Inter-American Development Bank professor in Chile. Foster has held visiting appointments at Fresno State College, Vanderbilt University, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Riverside, and Florida International University. He has conducted six seminars for teachers under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the most recent in Sao Paulo in summer 2013.

In 1989, Foster was named the Graduate College’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor, and in 1994 he was named Researcher of the Year by the Alumni Association. He received the 2000 Armando Discepolo Prize for theater scholarship awarded annually by GETEA (Grupo de Estudios de Teatro Argentino y Latinoamericano) of the Universidad de Buenos Aires. In 2010, Foster was honored for his lifetime work on Argentine culture by the Centro de Narratoloia at a program held at the Argentine National Library. He is past president of the Latin American Jewish Studies Association.

I first met David soon after I returned to Phoenix in 2000 as a columnist for the Arizona Republic. He was teaching a course on the History of Phoenix and asked me to give a lecture, which turned out to be the first of many such invitations. …One of the great friendships of my life blossomed. It reached to include my wife Susan, David’s wife Virginia Foster, professor emerita at Phoenix College, his son David R. Foster, a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney, and “Young David’s” wife Anni, who is general counsel for Arizona’s Governor. He also delighted in the time spent with his two grandsons, Gus and Will and with his surviving sister Rosalie LaMear.

David William Foster came to Phoenix in 1966, when the old city was very much intact. Unlike the many traducers I faced as a columnist, he understood what we had lost and felt it keenly. He lived in Palmcroft and kept “an urban lab” condo at the Embassy just north of downtown, a place where he could show students the city. Both were lined with custom-made bookshelves to make a bibliophile’s mouth water — and he had read every volume.

He was the definition of a Renaissance man, able to talk with keen insight about virtually every subject. Even the most casual conversation with David was stimulating and one came away having learned. And even though he was old school in the best ways, semi-joking that students shouldn’t speak in class until they were seniors, he wore this amazing learning lightly. With an easy gap-tooth smile and dapper style, he had a wry, dry wit. Whether the setting was dinner at Durant’s or one of the who’s who parties at the Foster house or our place in Willo, David was the natural star. We happily orbited around him.

This perch was a long way from his working-class roots in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood (which was not the upscale district of today). His hard work and intellect sent him through the University of Washington, where he earned his degrees. As a newly minted Ph.D. in romance languages and literature, he arrived at ASU only eight years after it became a university. His true north was the humanities. As he was quoted in a 2015 article, “Humanities is all about the description of the human soul and the life that soul lives.”

…Foster had grown up with the university, his international achievements adding to its growing reputation, and he thrived [there]. In 2016, David marked 50 years teaching at ASU. I was honored to be among the speakers from several nations who gave speeches lauding him. At the time, he told me, “After 50 years, I am ready to begin to be a university professor.” Indeed, he kept teaching, writing, and leading trips to Latin America until nearly the last. He never lost his passion, his ever-widening curiosity. At the tribute, I could see a fraction of the generation of students whose lives he had beautifully imprinted forever. As Dan Fogelberg wrote, “His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand.”

We had dinner at Durant’s last year. As usual, he snarfed up the amuse-bouche plate of vegetables as we savored martinis and talked about everything. As always, his company was joyful. He was a mensch, a gentleman and a scholar. ..But knowing David and carrying all those memories eases the pain. Rest in peace, my friend, until we meet again.

A celebration of David’s life will be held on his birthday, Friday, September 11, 2020, at Brophy Chapel at 2:00 p.m. followed by a reception. Everyone is invited but please respond to

Memorial gifts may be made in David’s memory to the Foster Latin-American Research Fellowship Endowment, ASU Foundation at
Condolences may be sent to

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ASU school mourns passing of Regents Professor David William Foster

June 30, 2020

David William Foster, who joined ASU 54 years ago and helped build the Spanish and Portuguese programs now housed in the School of International Letters and Cultures, died June 24 at age 79. 

Foster was a Regents Professor of Spanish and women’s and gender studies at Arizona State University. He was a trailblazer who published groundbreaking research in the larger fields of Latin American studies and LGBTQ studies. Among his publications are over 50 book-length, single-authored critical studies, bibliographies and anthologies; more than 36 edited and co-edited anthologies; and numerous articles and translations.Download Full Image
His interest in contestational and resistance writing led him to study the production of three groups most attacked by military tyranny: independent women, Jews, and gays and lesbians. The interest in these groups and their innovative cultural production also generated a curiosity in theater and film, both of which became enormously important as part of the culture of democratization in Argentina after the return to constitutional democracy in 1983. 

He later turned to writing about graphic narratives and photography. In fact, he was the only North American scholar working systematically on the photographic archive of Latin America, with an emphasis on urban spaces.

Foster’s dedication to gender studies and LGBTQ studies resulted in innovation to the ASU undergraduate curriculum. He was a large force in creating cutting-edge programs and courses in these fields. 

During Foster’s time at ASU, he held Fulbright teaching appointments in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and served as an Inter-American Development Bank Professor in Chile. He also held visiting appointments at various universities and colleges around the country, including Fresno State College, Vanderbilt University, University of California — Riverside and Florida International University. He organized and taught six seminars for teachers under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities, his most recent having been in Sao Paulo in 2013. 

Foster was recognized for his work with numerous awards, including the Graduate College’s Outstanding Graduate Mentor in 1989, Researcher of the Year by the Alumni Association in 1994, the Armando Discepolo Prize for theater scholarship in 2000 and for his lifetime work on Argentine culture by the Centro de Narratologia in 2010.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Fundacion Para La Preservacion de la Memoria Judia/Archivo Judio de Chile/B'Nai B'rith Internacional

obituario david william foster

A la memoria de David William Foster

NOTICIAS / 26 Junio 2020

Murío David William Foster, investigador de la cultura judía y  de las construcciones de género e identidad sexual, fue uno de los primeros en aplicar teoría queer a la lectura de escritorxs de Latinoamérica. 

El Doctor David William Foster fue  Regents’ Professor del Department of Languages and Literatures y Women’s Studies en Arizona State University y  director de Graduate Studies e Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Su trayectoria académica y de investigación fue brillante, publicó extensamente sobre la literatura latinoamericana, especialmente de la narrativa y del teatro de Argentina, así como de la cultura latinoamericana en general. En los últimos años su enfoque investigativo se  diversificó, publicando estudios críticos sobre el cine mexicano, argentino y brasileño. Publicó importantes estudios:  Gay and Lesbian Themes in Latin American Writing (1991) en la University of Texas Press, y Bodies and Biases: Sexualities in Hispanic Cultures and Literature, con Robert Reiss, en la University of Minnesota Press (1996), Sexual Textualities: Essays on Queer/ing Latin American Writing (1997), Chicano/Latino homoerotic identities (1999) Mexico City in Contemporary Mexican Cinema (2002) y Queer Issues in Contemporary Latin American Cinema (2003). 

En español se encuentran editadas  “Ensayos sobre culturas homoeróticas latinoamericanas” (2009) y “Producciones culturales e identidades homoeróticas” (2000), donde trabaja autores como Manuel Puig, Reynaldo Arenas, Oscar Hermes Villordo, entre otros. Uno de los últimos libros que publicó fue sobre el cine documental latinoamericano.

Se fue demasiado pronto, lleno de ideas, ganas de enseñar  y temas por estudiar.  Cuando en el 2016 cumplió 50 años enseñando en ASU, dijo a un amigo: “Después de 50 años, estoy listo para comenzar a ser profesor universitario". Y siguió … enseñando, escribiendo y liderando viajes a América Latina.
Nuestras condolencias a su familia, amigas, amigos, estudiantes , a los que lo conocieron a través de sus textos, a las innumerables personas a quienes su sabiduría tocó.

La Nacion

Murió David William Foster, gran difusor de la cultura argentina en Estados Unidos

David William Foster falleció ayer, a los 79 años, en Phoenix, Estados Unidos
David William Foster falleció ayer, a los 79 años, en Phoenix, Estados Unidos

Daniel Gigena

26 de junio de 2020  • 14:21
Ayer a la madrugada, a los 79 años, falleció en Phoenix el investigador y catedrático estadounidense David William Foster (Seattle, 1940), hispanista y gran difusor de la literatura latinoamericana, en especial de la Argentina, en casas de estudios superiores de América del Norte. Se graduó como doctor en Filosofía por la Universidad de Washington en 1964 y, desde 1995, era profesor en el área de Español y Estudios de Mujeres y Género en la Universidad de Arizona. Gracias a la Beca Fullbright vivió en la ciudad de Buenos Aires durante la década de 1970 y, desde entonces, regresaba con frecuencia. Fue autor de innumerables ensayos y libros acerca de la cultura argentina . La Generación de 1880, la representación de la violencia en la literatura, las obras de Jorge Luis Borges y Manuel Puig , la cinematografía contemporánea, los estudios judaicos, la temática feminista, gay y lésbica en ficciones de autores locales, las experimentaciones fotográficas de Grete Stern y Gabriela Liffschitz, El Eternauta y el teatro independiente fueron objeto de su atención. De su padre había heredado el amor por la fotografía y de su madre, la pasión por la literatura.
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"Como parte de la redemocratización de la cultura se generó una enorme producción en la Argentina, he estudiado el teatro, la narrativa, el ensayo sociopolítico, el cine, la fotografía", declaró en una entrevista. Se destacó también como traductor al inglés de libros de Néstor Perlongher, José Pablo Feinmann, Lucía Puenzo, Marcos Aguinis, Enrique Medina, Ana María Shua y Fabián Soberón, por mencionar solo a algunos autores argentinos. Cabe destacar que Foster investigó con la misma intensidad producciones culturales emergentes en Uruguay, Brasil, Perú, México y Puerto Rico. Fue editor de la publicación semestral Chasqui: Revista Latinoamericana de Literatura.

Pionero de los estudios de género en los años ochenta y noventa, su obra sentó las bases de la teoría queer como una perspectiva de análisis legítima de la cultura. Entre otros títulos, publicó Sexual Textualities: Essays on Queer/ing Latin American Writing , Violence in Argentine Literature; Cultural Responses to Tyranny , Cultural Diversity in Latin American Literature , Latin American Jewish Production y Contemporary Argentine Cinema. En español se pueden encontrar títulos como Espacio escénico y lenguaje , Literatura chicana: 1965-1995 y Torcer lo recto. Lo homoafectivo en América Latina . Se definía a sí mismo como un "feminista masculino". Entre 2006 y 2009 presidió la Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Judaicos, fundada en 1982.

En los últimos días, aún supervisaba las tesis de doctorado de varios graduados que lo habían elegido como tutor. Docente generoso con colegas y estudiantes, erudito y conversador inigualable, Foster iluminó la importancia de los estudios culturales para el progreso de la vida cívica. "La cultura es la sustancia de la vida cotidiana de la sociedad -dijo-. El idioma que hablamos, los valores e intereses que tenemos dan forma a la cultura".

Por: Daniel Gigena

Memorial Service for David William Foster

Please join us in a celebration of David's life on his birthday, Friday, September 11, 2020, at Brophy Chapel in Phoenix at 2:00 p.m. fo...