I hope you will all forgive a post that is off topic...Dr. Rudes was an excellent researcher and a friend to the Indian tribes of South Carolina. He will be missed.
Blair A. Rudes (1951-2008)
Dr. Blair A. Rudes, Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, died unexpectedly on March 16, 2008, after spending the afternoon exercising. An internationally known linguist and expert in American Indian languages, Dr. Rudes came to UNC Charlotte as an Assistant Professor in 1999 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005.
During his career at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Rudes became famous as a “Hollywood linguist.” In 2004, film director Terrence Malick hired Dr. Rudes to work as a consultant and dialect coach for the film The New World, which deals with the founding of Jamestown and the interaction between the Native people and the English settlers. Malick wanted the American Indian characters to speak in their native language, but this language had been extinct for over 200 years. Dr. Rudes drew on his expertise in the history of American Indian languages to revive the Virginia Algonquian language. He then translated the dialog spoken by the Native characters into Virginia Algonquian and coached the actors on how to pronounce their lines in this language. Dr. Rudes’ contributions to this film attracted widespread publicity including a feature story in the New York Times. Impressed with Dr. Rudes’ contributions to The New World, film director Carter Smith hired Dr. Rudes to serve as the Mayan Dialogue Coach for the film The Ruins, which will be released by Dreamworks later in 2008.
As a scholar, Dr. Rudes is best known for writing the Tuscarora-English/English-Tuscarora Dictionary, which the University of Toronto Press published in 1999. He also edited several other books and published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. At the time of his death, he was completing a three-volume work titled The Catawba Language.
In recent years, Dr Rudes received several important honors. In 2006, the Tuscarora Indian Nation honored him for his contributions to preserving the Tuscarora language. In 2007, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a bill honoring Dr. Rudes for his contribution to the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. Most recently, the State University of New York at Buffalo (where Dr. Rudes received his Ph.D. in 1976) gave him with their Distinguished Alumni Award.
A valued member of the Department of English, Dr. Rudes will be deeply missed by his colleagues and students.