Remembering Tadeusz Lewandowski

It is with sadness that we share the news that Tadeusz Lewandowski, author and professor, passed away on January 3, 2023.

Born in New York City and brought up in Upstate New York, Lewandowski moved to Europe in his mid-twenties. He received an M.A. in United States history from the University of Rochester (1999) and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Opole (2009). Lewandowski has published research in the fields of Native American and Cultural Studies, as well as work on Polish/English interlingual errors and contemporary language use in the United States.

The UNP is proud to have been the publisher of Lewandowski’s recent book The Life of Sherman Coolidge, Arapaho Activist (Nebraska, 2022) which was published in December.

The following is a reflection in memory of Tadeusz Lewandowski from fellow UNP author and Indigenous studies scholar Arnold Krupat.

Arnold Krupat is a professor emeritus of global studies and literature at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including the forthcoming From the Boarding Schools: Apache Indian Students Speak (Nebraska, 2023), Boarding School Voices: Carlisle Indian School Students Speak (Nebraska, 2021) and Companion to James Welch’s “The Heartsong of Charging Elk” (Nebraska, 2015).

I first emailed Tadeusz—Ted—Lewandowski in 2017. I’d begun work on Gertrude Bonnin–Zitkala Sa–and, having read Ted’s fine biography of her published the previous year, I hoped he could provide answers to some questions I had. He could and he couldn’t, but he showed a great generosity in sharing papers and references he had gathered, something he would continue to do until shortly before his death. In the intervening years, we communicated frequently—Ted and I never actually met—and sent each other drafts of work on which we were engaged.

When I began research on Hiram Chase (1861-1928), an Omaha Indian lawyer and the first Native person to pass the Bar in Nebraska, I told Ted that I thought Chase deserved a full-length biography and that he was the one to do it. On March 12th, 2022 he wrote, “I’d love to do a biography on Chase,” and at the end of August of last year, he sent me a number of letters he’d found addressed to Chase by Native intellectuals and activists of the period.

Ted Lewandowski had plans for many other new projects, and enjoyed his life and work for as long as he could.

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