August 31, 1921 - February 5, 2020
Irma, a Philadelphian, was a Temple undergraduate. She earned her PhD at Penn. Her dissertation, "Boswell's Portrait of Himself in 'The Life of Samuel Johnson'", was directed by Joe Scouten. She then taught in Penn's Department of English but later moved to Yale and spent the bulk of her career working alongside Fred Pottle on the Boswell papers.
Her books include Boswell, the Applause of the Jury, 1782-1785 (1981), Boswell, the English experiment, 1785-1789 (1986), and Boswell: Citizen of the World, Man of Letters (1995). After retiring from Yale, she returned to live full-time in Philadelphia, and taught a few classes for the English Department.
Dr. Lustig held a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Warnock Postdoctoral fellowship from Yale and had grants from the ACLS and the American Philosophical Society, among others. She twice conducted NEH Summer Seminars for School Teachers, at Penn, on the subject of Boswell's journal and the Life of Johnson.
She also assisted and encouraged some graduate students concentrating in eighteenth-century studies. She had been in ill health for the last several years. She is survived by her daughter, her son-in-law, and a grandson.