July 6, 1941 - October 10, 2012
Mark Poster -- critical theorist, opera buff. cat lover, and Dodger fan --died Oct. 10. A faculty member at UC Irvine since 1968, he wrote a dozen books that made crucial contributions to two different fields, European intellectual history and film & media studies. His breakthrough book was "Existential Marxism in Postwar France" (1975), a study of the left-wing intellectual world around Jean-Paul Sartre in the 1950s. The book gave him an immediate national reputation as one of the leading interpreters of French theory. Soon after its publication, he became one of the first to introduce the work of Michel Foucault in the US. In the second part of his career, Mark became one of the most important American theorists of media and technology. He was particularly interested in the potential of post-structuralism for the study of media culture, including television, databases, computing, and the Internet. His key works here began with "The Mode of Information" (1990), and concluded with his last book, which had the wonderful title "Information Please" (2006). Mark was not only a brave and lucid intellectual but also impacted many lives as a committed mentor, colleague and friend. His legacy is testament to his greatness of spirit as a person and scholar.
He is survived by his wife Annette Schlichter, daughters Winnie Poster and Jamie Poster, sister June Poster, step-mother Claire Poster, step-sister Joy Karol, and two grandchildren, Ketan and Natasha.
A memorial event will be held at UCI sometime in the near future.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Oct. 14, 2012.