BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A noted scholar on LGBT film theory and gay culture died Sunday while vacationing in Bermuda after sustaining critical head injuries after being struck by a motorcycle.
Alexander Doty, professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, was 58 years old.
Colleagues told The Herald Times that Doty had only been in Bermuda for three hours on Thursday and was walking back to his hotel when he was hit by the motorcycle. A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired.
The news department at IU wrote the following about Doty:
"The entire IU Bloomington community mourns the unexpected and tragic death of Alex Doty," said Lauren Robel, IU executive vice president and provost of the IU Blooomington. "Alex was respected across the campus, and we will miss his voice and his presence as a faculty leader. We have lost a valued colleague with Alex's passing, and our hearts go out to Alex's family and friends during this very difficult time."
Doty joined the faculties of the Departments of Communication and Culture and Gender Studies in 2008. He came to IU from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. He received a Ph.D. in English and film studies in 1984 from the University of Illinois-Urbana.
"Alex Doty's tragic death is a terrible loss for all of us at IU and in the College," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Larry Singell. "He was a wonderful colleague and human being, and we grieve for his family, his friends, his colleagues and his students. He was an outstanding scholar and teacher, and a great friend to many."
Doty's scholarship centered around gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and feminist film theory. He wrote seminal books on queer film theory and gay culture. At the time of his death he was working on a book with IU Associate Professor of English Patricia Ingham, titled "The Monstrous and the Medieval," an exploration of representations of medieval monstrosity in 20th century film. He was simultaneously at work on a book-length project on contemporary film melodrama, as well as articles about Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock.
Upon learning of his passing, those who knew Doty praised him as a tireless colleague, brilliant writer, witty cultural critic and extraordinarily generous scholar, mentor and friend.
Doty admired the work of renowned IU scientist Alfred Kinsey and was thrilled to work at an institution that supported Kinsey's landmark research. He also sat on the board of directors of the Kinsey Institute and was an ardent supporter of the IU Cinema, for which he conducted podcast interviews with film directors.
Doty leaves behind a mother, Rosanna Doty, from El Paso, Texas, two sisters, Barbara Braudaway and Maria Holmes, two brothers, Arthur and Robert Doty, and beloved students, colleagues and friends all over the world, who are greatly saddened by his tragic and untimely death. Details about a memorial service will be announced at a later date.