Campus News

Long-time UW-Madison professor Harold Scheub dies at age 88

Dr. Harold Schueb, who taught more than four decades in the Department of African Cultural Studies, passed away last week.

Dr. Harold Schueb, who taught more than four decades in the Department of African Cultural Studies, passed away last week.

Image By: Courtesy of UW-Madison

On Oct. 16, UW-Madison lost one of its longest-serving faculty members, Professor Emeritus Dr. Harold Schueb.

Schueb, who started teaching at UW in 1970, was known for studying African oral traditions and folklore. With over two dozen books and 70 articles published, he was well-respected in his field, according to the African Cultural Studies website.

After spending two years teaching secondary school in Uganda, Scheub fell in love with Africa. In 1965, he returned to the United States to study Swahili at the University of California, Los Angeles before pursuing a PhD in African languages and literature at UW-Madison.

During his graduate studies, Scheub trekked over 1500 miles down the coast of South Africa to gather and record the stories of various different cultures in Africa, according to his obituary

Using information he gathered during his research, Scheub taught his first class of which over 18,000 students experienced: African Storytelling. This class, now taught online, continues to remain a student favorite.

In his time spent at UW-Madison, Schueb served as the chair of the Department of African Languages and Literature — now the Department of African Cultural Studies — three times.

Schueb taught at UW-Madison for 43 years, until his retirement in 2013.

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