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James P. Scanlan


1927 - 2016
James P. Scanlan Obituary
Scanlan James P. Scanlan, age 89, passed away on October 28, 2016 at the palliative care unit at Mt. Carmel West Hospital. Jim was born in Chicago to Gilbert Francis Scanlan and Helen Meyers in 1927. He was a graduate of the University of Chicago with a B.A. degree in 1946, an M.A. and Ph.D in Philosophy, 1950 and 1956. His first job was in San Francisco where he was a fellow of the Institute of Philosophical Research under the leadership of Mortimer Adler. In 1955 he accepted a Ford Foundation fellowship at Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland. In 1956 he moved to Baltimore, Maryland where Jim taught at Goucher College for 12 years. During this period he became interested in the development of Marxism in the Soviet Union. He studied Russian at Georgetown University, and spent a year immersed in Russian Studies at the University of California at Berkley. With this background he was accepted to an exchange program to study in the Soviet Union. With his wife, Jim spent a year (1964-65) at Moscow State University, living among other Russian philosophy students in a dormitory, and taking advantage of the many cultural activities Moscow offered, before returned to Baltimore in 1965. In 1968 Jim joined the Philosophy Department of the University of Kansas and also headed its Center for Soviet and East European Studies. In 1971 Jim was offered a joint appointment in Philosophy and the Slavic and East European Center at Ohio State University where he remained for the rest of his academic career. From 1988 to 1991 he headed OSU's Slavic and East European Center and he became a Faculty Associate at OSU's Mershon Center. During his tenure at Ohio State Jim also spent two academic terms as a resident scholar abroad: in 1982-83 at the Center for East-European Studies of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, including a month in April and May 1983 at the Bellagio Study Center of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy; and in 1987-88 Jim was a visiting fellow at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, a particularly rewarding appointment. He was the recipient of many honors and awards for numerous publications (articles, books, and translations). Most recently Jim's interest has been focused on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Jim is survived by Marilyn Morrison Scanlan, his loving wife of 68 years. Also surviving are two half-brothers, Daniel of Chicago and Thomas of San Diego; and several nieces and nephews. Contributions in his name may be made to any of the arts organizations in Columbus, or to the Sustaining Fund of the First Community Village Foundation. A memorial gathering will take place in early 2017. Services are entrusted to SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, please visit our online guestbook www.schoedinger.com
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Nov. 6, 2016
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