Tributes to ‘outstanding scholar and teacher’

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  • <B>Killed in road collision:</B> Alexander Doty<B></B>

    Killed in road collision: Alexander Doty

  • Alexander Doty

    Alexander Doty

Friends and family are mourning the loss of 58-year-old Alexander Doty, a visitor who died this weekend following a collision with a motorcycle.

A 23-year-old Pembroke man was yesterday charged with causing death by impaired driving in connection with the incident.

Dr Doty was popular scholar, professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University’s (IU) Bloomington campus.

While walking along Pitts Bay Road on Wednesday evening hours after arriving on the Island for a brief vacation, he was struck by a motorcycle.

The impact reportedly caused Dr Doty to suffer serious injuries to his brain. He was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for treatment, but on Sunday he succumbed to his injuries.

Following the news of his passing, Dr Doty’s friends and colleagues remembered his life and his accomplishments.

Patricia Ingham, an Associate Professor of English at IU, was working with Dr Doty on a book titled ‘The Monstrous and the Medieval,’ an exploration of representations of medieval monstrosity in 20th century film.

Speaking yesterday, she said: “He was a tireless colleague, a beautiful writer, brilliant scholar, witty critic, and a sensitive teacher, mentor, and friend.

“He had only been at IU for four years but had already served in two major administrative positions, and willingly agreed to teach large lecture courses on important, complex subjects.”

Lauren Robel, IU Executive Vice President and provost of Bloomington Campus, said that the entire IU community was mourning the loss of Dr Doty.

"Alex was respected across the campus, and we will miss his voice and his presence as a faculty leader,” she said. “We have lost a valued colleague with Alex's passing, and our hearts go out to Alex's family and friends during this very difficult time."

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Larry Singell said: "Alex Doty's tragic death is a terrible loss for all of us at IU and in the College.

“He was a wonderful colleague and human being, and we grieve for his family, his friends, his colleagues and his students. He was an outstanding scholar and teacher, and a great friend to many."

A Facebook page, “Friends of Alex Doty,” was started the day of his death, and by yesterday afternoon around 500 Facebook users had joined the group.

One poster, Justin Wyatt, wrote: “I knew Alex first through his scholarship — so insightful, exacting, bold and fun. I was, of course, in awe of the work.

“Later, working on a project that included Alex, I was blessed to discover that the generosity and compassion in his work was a direct reflection of his own character.”

Scott Gordon wrote: “I can not picture Alex not smiling, though I certainly remember moments when he must not have been. He was so funny, shy, wise (in all senses of the word), tall, and kind.”

And Beth Dolan wrote: “The thing about Alex that always amazed me was his capacity to understand and continue to feel affection for people who hurt him. He simply did not hold a grudge. I don't know if it was forgiveness or self-protection, but it was extraordinary.”

Dr Doty, who received a PhD in English and film studies in 1984 from the University of Illinois-Urbana, wrote seminal books on queer film theory and gay culture.

Before his death, Dr Doty was at work on a book-length project on contemporary film melodrama, as well as articles about Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock.

He also sat on the board of directors of the Kinsey Institute and was an ardent supporter of the IU Cinema, for which he conducted podcast interviews with film directors.

Dr Doty leaves behind a mother, Rosanna Doty, sisters Barbara Braudaway and Maria Holmes, brothers Arthur and Robert Doty. Details about a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

l David Thomas, from Cheriton Lane, Pembroke, was charged in Magistrates’ Court yesterday with causing death by impaired driving.

Because the charge must be heard in the Supreme Court, the 23-year-old was not required to enter a plea.

Acting Senior Magistrate Tyrone Chin released Mr Thomas on $20,000 bail with two like sureties. He was ordered to surrender his travel documents and report back to court for mention on August 20.

Prosecutor Larissa Burgess represented the Crown, while lawyer Charles Richardson represents Mr Thomas.

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