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Christopher Ebert Schmidt-Nowara

1966 - 2015
Christopher Ebert Schmidt-Nowara Obituary
Schmidt-Nowara, Christopher Ebert

Dr. Christopher Ebert Schmidt-Nowara, PhD, died suddenly on June 27, 2015 after a brief illness, while visiting his daughter in Paris, France. He was 48 years old and the Professor of History and Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Chris was a prominent scholar of Spanish history and culture. He obtained his PhD in 1995 from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Scholar and a Mellon Foundation Fellow during his graduate study. His work focused on the history of slavery and abolition in the Hispanic world as well as the history of politics and ideas in the Spanish empire, especially during the imperial crises of the nineteenth century. His first book, Empire and Anti-Slavery: Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874, published in 1999, is considered ground-breaking in the field, a work that established Chris as an essential voice in the study of nineteenth century Spain and Latin America. Chris subsequently published several well-received books about the Spanish Empire, further cementing his critical role in the area of study.

In every setting, Chris was recognized for his ebullient personality, keen intellect, devotion to historical study, irreverent sense of humor, and loyal friendship. Chris was an avid sports fan (particularly of the Boston Red Sox), an aficionado of film noir and crime novels, and a lover of good food and better beer. In the words of one friend and colleague, Chris "was always a great person to be around, gracious, courteous, and someone with whom there was a guarantee of a stimulating conversation; and then, Chris defined humbleness and unpretentiousness, for someone with so many accomplishments in so little time."

Chris was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966 and moved to Albuquerque in 1974, where he lived until he graduated from the Albuquerque Academy in 1984. In addition to receiving his PhD from the University of Michigan, he received his BA from Kenyon College and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.

He is survived by his beloved daughter Althea Rose Spieler Nowara; his parents Elizabeth Ebert Schmidt-Nowara and Wolfgang Schmidt-Nowara; his brother Peter and sister Molly; step-grandmother Barbara Ebert; step-mother Ellen Marder; step-sisters Wendy Vance and Dinah Zeiss; and beloved nieces and nephews who loved their Uncle Chris. He is also remembered and celebrated by friends across the globe.

Memorial services are planned for Boston at Tufts University in the fall.
Published in Albuquerque Journal from July 7 to July 12, 2015
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