Rosemary Keefe Curb, 1940-2012

A Legacy of Passion and Inspiration

Rosemary Keefe Curb

As a professor of English, Rosemary Keefe Curb spent time discussing the human condition as presented in literature. But a personal experience informed the work she’s best known for and the program that stands as her legacy at Rollins.

Prior to joining Rollins in 1979, Keefe Curb spent eight years as a Dominican nun, which inspired her to co-edit a groundbreaking anthology, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence. Published in 1985, the book features 50 accounts by former and current nuns and drew national attention for trying to “break the silence” about women’s sexuality.

While the book brought a human rights issue to the global forefront, the program she spearheaded at Rollins helped bring feminism to the Rollins curriculum. She created the Women’s Studies program, which motivated faculty and students to examine the issues of gender roles across all disciplines, and it still thrives today.

Her commitment to shedding light on other people’s struggles remained unwavering until the end. In 2011, while suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, she helped coordinate the Feminist Forum at Rollins, which celebrated feminism’s rich history and brought the opportunity for participants to discuss its current state and collective hopes for the future.

She died May 24, 2012, of complications from a lung transplant.