In Memoriam: Jerry Rodnitzky


Jerry Rodnitzky

Longtime PCA member Jerome Leon Rodnitzky died April 25, 2020, in Arlington, Texas, following a brief illness.  He was born August 1, 1936, in Chicago.  He received his B.A. (1959) and M.A.T. (1962) from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967.

Jerry was retired from the History Department at the University of Texas at Arlington.  He had taught in the Department more than fifty years, beginning in 1966.  At UTA he received several teaching awards, including the Gertrude Golladay Award (1989) and the Freshman Leaders on Campus Outstanding Teacher Award (2008, 2009, 2011).  He was one of the founders of women’s studies at UTA and the first Director of Teaching of Women’s Studies.

Jerry was a leading expert on the 1960s counterculture and on American folk music, protest songs, and feminism.  His books include Minstrels of the Dawn: The Folk-Protest Singer as Cultural Hero (Nelson-Hall, 1976), Jazz-Age Boomtown (coauthor Shirley R. Rodnitzky) (Texas A&M University Press, 1997), Feminist Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of a Feminist Counterculture (Praeger, 1999), and Lights, Camera, History: Portraying the Past in Film (coedited with Richard Francaviglia) (Texas A&M University Press, 2007).  He also published numerous articles in popular-culture journals, including the Journal of Popular Culture and Popular Music and Society.

Jerry was a member of the Editorial Board of Popular Music and Society from its founding in 1971 until his death.  He was an Advisory Editor of the Journal of Texas Music History.  He presented papers at many conferences of the Popular Culture Association, including the first conference, in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1971.

Jerry is survived by numerous relatives, including his wife of 53 years, Shirley Marie Reiger Rodnitzky, and their two children, Mark Rodnitzky and Joan Anderson.

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