In Memoriam: Professor Emerita Barbara Phillips

Monday, May 15, 2017

Professor Emerita of Sociology and Urban Studies Barbara Phillips succumbed to corticobasel degeneration on May 2. She will be remembered for her many accomplishments, including serving as a U.S. diplomat in Africa and India, leading a workshop for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Central Europe, working as an anti-poverty worker in Appalachia and writing for and editing a social science journal. Upon her retirement from SF State, she founded Latitude, a cultural center in Southwest France. 

“Barbara was a gifted urban sociologist, an ex-diplomat, a real live wire and an adventurer with an irrepressible spirit,” said Karen Hossfield, a former colleague in the Department of Sociology. "She was an inspiring and incandescent teacher and mentor who delighted in people, ideas and life."

Phillips received a B.A. with honors in history from Northwestern University; an M.A. in international relations from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; and an M.P.A. (with distinction) and Ph.D. from Syracuse University's Maxwell School.

A woman of many interests, Phillips was a dancer and folk singer. She studied ballet in Chicago, bharatanatyam (a classical style of Indian dance) in India and bugaku (a Japanese traditional dance) in Tokyo. She was the author of "City Lights: Urban and Suburban Life in the Global Society" (Oxford University Press).

Phillips is survived by her partner, Tim Teninty, and her sister, Joanne Sanders.