Linda Klitzman Ben-Zvi - Class of 1957

Inducted: 2012


For twenty years, Linda Ben-Zvi was Professor of English and Theatre, at Colorado State University, followed by ten years as Professor of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University. She has been a Visiting Professor at New York University, Hunter College, University of Michigan, and Venice International University. She was an invited Distinguished Professor at the University Autonoma, Madrid, Waseda University and Ayoma Gaukin University, Tokyo, and University of Trento, Italy. She also taught at Semester at Sea, an around the world campus afloat.

Her honors include being a John N. Stern Distinguished Professor at Colorado, twice a Fellow at the Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria, Italy; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Newberry Library, Chicago; and Lady Davis Professor at Hebrew University. She was twice elected President of the International Samuel Beckett Society.

     In the Driftwood Yearbook for 1957, Linda wrote that her ambition was "to write a best seller", and her future plan was to "go into journalism". This desire to write was sparked by her senior English teacher, a wonderful role model, Mrs. Beatrice Van Campen. She didn't produce a best seller, but she has spent her academic career writing, and fortunately about something she loves, the theater. She has published 12 books and over 100 articles on modern and contemporary theater and drama and given close to 150 lectures on the subject at academic conferences.

Her special focus has been on the great Irish playwright and novelist, Samuel Beckett. In addition, through her interest in feminist studies, she helped start a Women's Studies Program  in Colorado, and rediscovered an important early 20th Century American woman playwright and novelist, Susan Glaspell. She has co-edited her complete plays, and written a biography of Susan Glaspell that won the Special Jury Prize of the American Theatre Library Association in 2005.

She also fulfilled an early dream when she married an Israeli, Samuel Ben-Zvi, and they moved to Israel in the late 1990s with their two children, Oriella and Arik. In Israel, she was part of a woman's group, The Four Mothers Movement, that was instrumental in getting Israel to leave Lebanon. Linda is proud of that and her other peace work. Her great joy is to spend time with her two grandchildren, Guy and Jonathan, who live two doors away in Jaffa, Israel.

Quotation: "You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on." (Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable)