Eva Kushner

Fonds number:
Title: Eva Kushner
Dates of Material:
1937-2022, predominant 1960-2001
5.8 m of textual records
Biographical sketch

Eva Kushner (1929–2023) was a noted scholar in the fields of Comparative and French Literature, as well as in Renaissance, Canadian and Quebec literature. Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929, Eva Dubska lived in France, 1939–1945, then returned briefly to Czechoslovakia after World War II, before coming to Canada in 1946. In 1949 she married Donn Kushner, who would become a distinguished Professor of Microbiology at the University of Ottawa from 1965–1988 before coming to the University of Toronto. The Kushners had three sons, Daniel, Roland and Paul. Donn Kushner died in 2001.

She received her university education at McGill University: B.A. (Philosophy and Psychology, 1948), M.A. (Philosophy, 1950), and Ph.D. (French Literature, 1956). Her teaching career began in 1952, and in the 1950's she was a Lecturer at various institutions, including McGill, and University College London. In 1961 she began teaching at Carleton University, achieving the position of Full Professor (French and Comparative Literature) in 1969. She joined McGill in 1976 as Professor of French and Comparative Literature and as Director of the Department of French Language and Literature. Professor Kushner was named President of Victoria University in 1987; she served two terms there until 1994, continuing to teach, as well as acting as the Director of the Northrop Frye Centre, 1988–1994. Becoming Professor Emeritus of French Literature in 1994, she maintained an active teaching and writing career, as well as attending and delivering papers at a number of international conferences.

Throughout her career Professor Kushner contributed to the academic world in many capacities, including serving as Chair of the Royal Society of Canada Committee on Freedom of Scholarship and Science, 1993–1998, as a member of the Canada Council Advisory Academic Panel and Executive Committee, 1975–1981, and the Modern Language Association of America Executive Council, 1983–1988. She is the author of numerous scholarly publications and articles, in addition to her significant contributions to national and international conferences and symposia. Professor Kushner was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1997.

Eva Kushner died in Toronto in 2023.

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Eva Kushner, 2003–2009.

Accession 2023.08 was received from Daniel Kushner, Eva Kushner's son, in May 2023.

Access restrictions

Restrictions on access:
File relating to students in Series 5, Box 3, File 10 has been restricted until 2055.

File relating to Victoria University donations in Accession 2023.09, Box 1, File 13 is restricted for privacy reasons. Contact the Archivist to inquire about the file.

Finding aids

Box/File List available

Related material

For records created by Eva Kushner as President of Victoria University, 1987–1994, see Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.) President's Office Fonds 2021 in the Victoria University Archives.


Further accruals are expected.

Access points

Provenance access point:
Kushner, Eva, 1929–2023

Subjects: Literature, Comparative
European literature—Renaissance, 1450–1600
French literature
Canadian literature
Canadian literature (French)—Quebec (Province)

Related resources

“Thoughts on Education at Victoria: An Excerpt from an Address to the Graduates’ Christmas Luncheon”
Published in Vic Report in 1994 toward the end of Eva Kushner’s term as president of Victoria University.