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Fink, Zera Silver, 1902-1979



  • Existence: 1902-1979


Zera Silver Fink was born August 8, 1902 in Holdrege, Nebraska, the eldest son of Daniel J. Fink and Nellie M. (Silver) Fink. He was educated at Holdrege High School from 1916 to 1920; Hastings College from 1920 to 1921; and Grinnell College, from which he received his B.A., from 1921 to 1924. After graduating from Grinnell he served as an English teacher at Grand Island (Nebraska) High School then as an Instructor in English at Grinnell from 1925 to 1927.

Fink took his M.A. in 1928 and his Ph.D. in 1931, both from Northwestern University. At Northwestern he served as an Assistant in English from 1927 to 1928 and as an Instructor from 1928 to 1930 and from 1931 to 1934. Fink became Assistant Professor of English in 1934. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1940 and to Professor in 1944. He retired from the faculty in 1970 and became Professor Emeritus. While at Northwestern, Fink served as Acting Chairman of the Department of English in 1954, 1957, and in the summers of 1958, 1965 and 1966. He was a member of the Administrative Board of the Graduate School.

Fink's academic specialties included Milton, seventeenth century English literature and Romantic literature. He published two books including The Classical Republicans (Northwestern University Press, 1945; second edition 1962), a seminal study of the relations between literature and politics in seventeenth century England; and The Early Wordsworthian Milieu (Clarendon Press, 1958), a notebook of Christopher Wordsworth which he edited. Fink also wrote numerous scholarly articles and reviews. He received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies for 1959-1960.

Fink served as Chairman of the 1952 Newberry Library Renaissance Conference and was a member of the Modern Language Association of America, the Milton Association of America, the Modern Humanities Association, the International Association of University Professors of English, the Conference on British Studies and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He also was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the University Club of Evanston.

Fink married Lucille Ethel McDannell on March 12, 1927. They had one daughter, Carlotta L. Fink (Mrs. R. H. Bogart). Fink died October 1, 1979, in Tucson, Arizona.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Zera S. Fink (1902-1979) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/11/6

The Zera S. Fink Papers, comprising two boxes, are arranged into four groups: general correspondence, course materials, published works and research materials. The bulk of the correspondence is from 1956 to 1959 and largely concerns the printing and publication of his book, The Early Wordsworthian Milieu. Fink's academic specialties included Milton, seventeenth century English literature and Romantic literature.

Dates: 1944-1980