The Saddest News

Dear Friends,

Our dearest sister and comrade, Julie Graham, passed away about an hour ago.  She was on her way back, with Kathie Gibson, from a successful talk in Arizona.  Kath and Julie were on their last leg of the trip back from Australia to Massachusettss.  As many of you know, the chief consequence of her treatment for her neck cancer in 2006 was that she was left with a lot of scar tissue from radiation and, in later stages of her life, she was finding it more and more difficult to breathe.  On the plane ride yesterday back from Dallas, I believe, she had an attack where she was unable to breathe.  She passed out, some help was forthcoming from a medical person on the plane, but she went much too long without oxygen.  The plane was diverted to Nashville, and she was admitted to a hospital there.  But, as I understand it, she had already suffered irreversible brain damage.  She was kept alive until this afternoon on life support until it was clear she was past recovery.  Her friends Sharon, Geert, Nancy, and of course Kath and her brother Alfie were there with her when she passed away.  Please forgive me if I have any of these details confused or unclear.

I am sure when things are better known Kath will communicate to us what will be happening to lay Julie’s ashes to rest, and what, if any, forms of remembrance, celebration and commemoration will be planned.  Kath asked that, for the time being, people not write directly to her.  After talking with Kath a little while ago, she and I agreed that if people had things they wanted to know for the time being that they wait or write to me.  Also, I would like to suggest that people consider writing directly to this network if they’d like to share whatever they are thinking about the life of this incredible woman and all that she meant to so many of us.  Perhaps someone better able to think about these things can suggest or enact a place on the internet where such comments can also or alternatively be posted.

I cannot speak for others, but I can say for me that the loss and the grief are unbearable.  Julie was a pure gift to any world I ever wanted to live in.  Her impact on and meaning for my life has been incomparable. I’m not even sure I know how to say I will miss her, and I will, desperately. But, it’s true that the last year or so has been so very hard on her.  I dearly hope she can finally rest in peace.

Jack (Amariglio)

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130 responses to “The Saddest News

  1. How can we give tribute that matches Julie’s contribution? Julie has done so much to build AESA, and done so much to build many people’s lives. Her death is beyond comprehension.
    Harriet

  2. We join with so many others in celebrating the remarkable contributions, on so many levels, that Julie made to and for us all. In our many collaborations with Julie and Kath over the years, in Julie’s unfailing and crucial work on so many dissertations, and in countless warm moments in Shutesbury, Amherst, and Buckland, we had many chances to appreciate all she had and did. Julie had a profound impact on us and so many others. She lived a good and positive and productive life. We will dearly miss the wonderful human being she was.
    Steve and Rick

  3. S. Charusheela

    Julie was on my dissertation committee, and over the years has been mentor, comrade, intellectual beacon and friend. She had a generosity of spirit and warmth, a real model of combining intellectual rigor and engagement with openness and nurturance. I cannot begin to express the ways in which I will miss her. Charu

  4. Antonio Callari

    I want to add mine to the sadness others have expressed, and yet others no doubt will express, at Julie’s passing. I never did get to spend as much time with Julie personally as many others did, but all the words about her generosity and intelligence from those who did ring so TRUE to me too from the relatively few times our personal paths crossed. Julie is one of those people reality you sense in a moment. Getting to know Julie’s work is another story: that is something I saw developing over time, both personally and by text. And I think that her work in itself, in its conceptual structure, gives testimony to her generosity and, hence, greatness. She didn’t much care about theory per se (which, at first, surprised me, but now enlightens me). She cared about what theory could do for the people she lived with. Her generosity, which could only be really expressed in relationship to concrete people, made her work to produce the theory those concrete people could concretely use. And she was superb at that. She embodied the spirit of the 11th thesis on Feuerbach, the thesis, that is, that the point is to change the world. That is why, I think, Julie is such a symbolic figure for all of us. Now that she has passed, I think our gratitude will be infinite.
    Antonio

  5. Ann Kingsolver

    Julie lived her ideology, and her spriteliness will always be somewhere in the collective. When she was a new faculty member at UMass, she treated grad students as colleagues, both in the welcoming and accountable senses of collegiality. She made professional life transparent. Julie got as excited as we did in discussions of viable collectives, and connected the articles to the implications for everyday practice. As a dissertation committee member, she would suggest a cookie and conversation at the Blue Wall, a walk, and then get back to work on her manuscript. In teaching us about what happened under Thatcher, we could see what was coming in the U.S. with the clouds of neoliberal capitalism, but by showing us how varied those clouds could be, she showed us myriad ways to contest the expected. To her current colleagues, my heart goes to you in this unimaginable loss. I am sad, also, for the students she might have worked with in the future.

  6. Pete Merzbacher

    I took economic geography with Julie last fall and I left every class feeling inspired, energized and optimistic. She was incredible to the nth degree. Her impact on my life will be lasting.

  7. Kevin St. Martin

    Friends,

    The news of Julie’s passing is truly unbearable as we have lost the very best we humans can hope to be. Julie was tremendously generous of spirit and her immense talent, she was always hopeful and caring, and she was simply brilliant — truly shining more than most of us. As my adviser, my mentor, and friend she taught me not only to read, write, and think for the first time (I am not exaggerating) but also to do so lovingly, as a deliberate act of giving. She made it clear to me that one’s work place could be a site of such acts and affections. This gift has been immeasurable and, I suspect, not uncommon amongst others who have been fortunate enough to be one of Julie’s students. For this and so much more I am deeply indebted to Julie and will miss her more than I can say.

    In love and gratitude,
    Kevin

  8. Sad, sad news. Julie truly inspired me to think of my neighbors and motivated me to glue my neighborhood together as a community. This World needs more people with the heart and mind that Julie had. Rest in Peace.

  9. When I decided to enter the Masters of Geography program here at UMass, Julie was the first professor to offer her wholehearted support for anything I wished to pursue. She always had a huge smile whenever she saw me, which made me smile in return – making my whole day much brighter. I am shaken to the roots by her death.

    I love you Julie,

    Don

  10. Vincent Del Casino

    Thoughts cannot express my sadness. Julie contributed so much to our lives. She was thoughtful, engaged, supportive, energetic, and smart (beyond words). Most importantly, she was kind.

    Her legacy to our world (and not just to our discipline) is tremendous. We are fortunate, then, that she will continue to make an impact through the work of the lives of those she has touched over the years.

  11. I didn’t know Julie that well — only as an “outside” member on Labor Center committees — always supporting us in any way possible. She was friendly and cheerful wherever and whenever I ran into her. I know the Labor Center has lost a champion; I see here that the world has.

  12. Lauren Melodia

    Hello All,

    I just wanted to write and express my feelings about this horrible news. Julie and I only met recently (and actually never in person), though I have been a fan of her work for years. She has been actively advising me on a project where I am using her’s and Kathy’s methodology doing community development organizing in prison towns in upstate NY. Julie has been so encouraging, inspiring and supportive, and I had many talks with her via Skype while she was in Australia these past months. She has given me hope and direction over the past couple of months and I am so thankful for that. I was hoping to find a life-long mentor in her and, even if our time exchanging ideas was brief, she will still play that role in my life moving forward.

    Please keep me informed of any commemorations, celebrations of her life, etc.

  13. Julie’s wide-eyed view of the world and the breadth and depth of her reach into the study of human relations, inside and out of the academy, has made her one of the most vivid figures on this campus. Even more, the passion she showed in her research and teaching was liberally allocated among us as well, to our mutual joy and benefit. The warmth of her friendship resonated far and wide into the community nearby and beyond. Always intensely interested in the person addressed, she radiated back the flow of dialogue and compassion. The large world of life with Julie is now small, and we are left to rebuild it with our memories.

  14. I had the honor of being one of Julie’s students. Her reputation reached my ears before I began attending Umass. She inspired me to think more broadly about alternatives and how they can be integrated to form a stronger spectrum of possibility. I had hoped to work with Julie further as I develop ideas and strategies. She will be deeply missed. I hope that all those touched by her life will strive to carry forward her work in their own endeavors. She will always be accorded honor as an inspiration in my efforts. I am glad I took her class when I had the opportunity, and I am sorry that no other students will be able to benefit from her personal presence. I hope that her writing and work become more widely used than ever!

  15. Julie was one of my heroes. She changed Geography for the better. Smart, yes, and so very generous.

  16. Julie was an important mentor and role model for me. I first met Julie in the 1980s when she audited Rick Wolff’s Marx III course I was taking as an economics graduate student at UMASS. But I really began to know Julie when we both showed up for a Center for Popular Economics (CPE) meeting we didn’t realize had been cancelled. Julie stayed and chatted with me probably a full hour after we learned there was no meeting. This was a very low point in my graduate school career and Julie’s interest and encouragement in that moment and beyond did much to keep me going.

    Thanks, Julie, for your grace, your heartfulness, and your brilliance.

  17. Diane Flaherty

    I hadn’t seen Julie much in recent years, but whenever I did I was amazed at the positive way in which she dealt with her illness. She never let it define her and was always the same vibrant, cheerful and engaged Julie no matter how difficult her life had become.

    She has set a truly inspiring example of how to live life to the fullest and how to accept its inevitable twists and turns. Her spirit will be much missed and her death leaves a hole in many, many hearts, mine included.

    Julie, we will look to your example in tough times and try to do life as you did, with courage and grace.

  18. Eric Sheppard & Helga Leitner

    We hold Julie in our hearts, as one of the more remarkable people we have had the pleasure of being able to call our friend. We remember her remarkable vitality, creativity, generosity of spirit, warmth and compassion. She continued to maintain her scholarship and activism through the dark days of the last few years, with incredible determination, and always a kind word for those around her. With Kathy, Julie has transformed intellectual debates in Geography, and beyond. Her presence will be sorely missed; her legacy endures; her spirit will continue to inspire us.

  19. What a tremendous loss. Julie had the ability to walk into a room, light it up, and make the person she was talking to feel like the most important person there. She fully lived Mahatma Ghandi’s edict to ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.

  20. I share with all the immense grief for Julie’s death, and the wonderful joy of having met her in the classroom, at CPE meetings, institutes and retreats, and during lunches at Earth Foods. I feel great gratitude for the enormous support and warmth Julie gave to many of my friends and colleagues during graduate school and beyond, as well as to myself and to my brother Luis. We’ll miss her very much.

  21. I will always treasure the hours I spent with Julie teaching at CPE Summer Institutes, and working on a CPE book we co-edited. Her quiet, calm and forceful presence will never leave me. My condolences go out to all who deeply feel her loss.

  22. Thank you Julie your vision and your willingness to share it with so many. You helped me believe another world is possible. May you rest in peace.

  23. Thank you for setting up this site. A great loss. Such generative work. And how rare – to subordinate individual identity to joint author, such a wonderful way to enact critique (and the rarity of other examples points to the strength of that critique). I did not know her but she helped me, as tenure reviewer and book blurber, and of course through her ground clearing and creative work with KG.

  24. I am truly saddened and shocked. I first met Julie at Clark, when we were graduate students. I remember reading Kapital in a student and faculty group with her and the group taking on an extracurricular life of its own, as we read Althusser and the early post-structuralists, debated the balance between academic Marxism and community praxis, and wrote a successful grant proposal situating the economic dedevelopment of New England (1970s) within global development of underdevelopment theory. This kind of outside the walls self-propelled conversation is one of my fondest memories of Clark, and Julie was at its core. My heart really goes out to Kath at the loss of the other half of her Gibson-Graham identity. What a terrifying experience and what a dreadful loss. Geography has lost a unique voice and passionate presence.

  25. Gerda Roelvink

    I feel immensely privileged to have spent the last couple of months working with Julie in Sydney. She has inspired me in so many different ways and will continue to guide me into the future.

  26. Jenny Cameron

    Like Gerda I feel so privileged to have spent some time with Julie during the last few months on her visit to Australia. And even though Julie was obviously much weaker she was still that same warm and wonderful person that friends and colleagues are attesting to in their comments.

    I first got to know Julie when I stayed with her in Shutesbury/Cooleyville in the first part of 1995. We’d met a few brief times at Monash and Sydney Uni’s. Indeed, as a nervous and new Masters student at Sydney Uni she graciously helped me figure out the difference between pushing and pulling a door – a sign of what was to come, as Julie has continued to open the door on academic life for me in so many ways. It was later during a supervision session in a spa at Hepburn Springs (outside of Melbourne) with Lauren Costello and Kathie Gibson that we cooked up the plan to spend some time in the US – I don’t know what the ethics of supervision sessions in spas are (and maybe I shouldn’t be mentioning it!) but J.K. sure taught me that we have to inject our work with passion and zest.

    I’m so grateful that Julie took a risk on some Australian graduate student and threw open her home to me so I had the opportunity to audit classes at UMass with Rick and Steve, to meet the wonderful AESA crew, to share wonderful times with Julie’s longstanding extended family at Cooleyville, and to continue to be mentored by Julie.

    From Julie (and Kathie – it’s so hard to separate the two), I have learned so much about how to be in the world; how a commitment to the idea of a community economy (yes, with all the problematic associations of and between community and economy) means a daily practice, an ethic, of living with and caring for others and, as J.K. in her most recent work has started exploring, this planet.

    Since radiation (or as Julie called it, “the gift that continues to give”) Julie has continued to show what it means to live an ethical life – to generously care for others; to mentor, laugh, think, write, and be passionate about life. I will continue to go on learning from Julie’s example. Thank-you Julie.

  27. michael johnson

    Oh Julie, I miss you so…godspeed, buddy

    so stunned since saturday i am just now finding my grief…godspeed, dear friend

    been trying to spin stories to fill the awful hole of your leaving…godspeed, sweet redhead

    i was so looking forward to your return and reconnecting with you—your fun, your heart, your optimism, our work, your vision, your awesome ordinariness…godspeed, partner

    wanting so much to be there for you in your fear and gut courage of what was to come…godspeed, my love

    thank you so much for so much in so short a time…godspeed, my love

    godspeed, my love

  28. sad to hear from istanbul. never met but gibson-graham inspired me, my ideas and my writings alot. never met julie graham, was expecting to meet her last year in a conference in NY. she will continue to inspire me.

  29. As a long time resident of Cooleyville, I was so excited that Julie was coming home on Saturday with Kath; a double joy.

    The hole in my heart is huge right now, but reading the comments here, I am reminded that Julie’s home is in hearts and places around the globe. Wherever she was, she shared herself, her kindness, her thoughts, and she was a superb listener. A community builder from the local to the international, we can take solace in our collective memories of Julie. We can continue to be inspired to connect with each other through the kindness and strength she lived and we loved.

  30. Sasha Roseneil

    Julie’s death is a great loss … Her work with Katherine has been hugely inspirational for me over many years… the most exciting, transformational theorising and politics… I had invited Julie and Katherine to come to Birkbeck to speak at a conference in June, having been wanting for a long time for the occasion to do so.

  31. Julie was a dear friend of mine at UMass many years ago. I have missed her as a colleague and friend ever since, and I miss her even more now. She was an amazingly creative, bright, generous and thoughtful scholar. My heart goes out to her RM friends and colleagues. She touched so many people’s lives. Thank you, Julie, for everything.

  32. Greg Seigworth

    So sad to hear. A thought and writing so generous, optimism always well-earned… will always find a place in this world.

  33. Andrew Leyshon

    Very sad and distressing news. Julie was a force of nature; she had a brilliantly critical mind, and yet was generous and open. Quite a combination.

  34. Julie was a stranger the first time I met her. I was at the registry in Northampton in 1986 and looking for a ride to Amherst with a friend to avoid the long walk back to the bus. Julie was behind me in line and came to my rescue.
    Later I got to know Julie as a mentor and colleague. I am grateful to her for all her support and encouragement. She was a great person and community member. But I will always remember her first as kind to strangers.

  35. I knew Julie through work with CPE in the 90s. She was such a gorgeous life force, and,whenever she was around, I had such a strong sense that of energy, warmth, attentiveness, risk, and beautiful, committed work. I remember sitting with her stuffing envelopes for a bulk mailing and listening to her talk about what she was calling at that moment “the array of the left” — she conjured such a compelling picture of all of the work that so many people were doing from so many directions — she wanted us to notice the stunning range and power of it all. Julie was always up for a reality check and was so emotionally present, intellectually engaging, and fun that she made a big difference to me as novelist/poet among economists. I’m picturing her face. Such warmth.

  36. I met Julie when we were both Service Learning Teaching Fellows back in 1998-99. She struck me with her intelligence, warmth, openness, commitment to teaching and students, and her connectedness and enthusiasm with the real world. With her passing, there’s a big hole left here, which we should all try our best to fill for her.

  37. I only ran into Julie once in the past few years, and the image of her radiant self in Haymarket Cafe in Northampton is as vivid as today’s brave daffodils.
    To echo Jack Amariglio, Julie made the world a place you wanted to live in — and in important years for me, she was one of those people who made this Valley seem like home, too.
    My condolences to all those close to her in these later times of struggle.

  38. Like everyone I am greatly saddened at Julie’s passing. Really terrible news and a big hole in the world. Julie combined characteristics so very rare in contemporary academia – deep humanity, huge generosity and a genuine sparkling intellect. I feel privileged to have known her.

  39. Stunned by this news. What a terrible loss – for her friends & for geography.

    Julie was such a warm, caring – & generous – colleague. She was a real inspiration, providing an alternative role model for those of us trying to figure out ways to be in academia. The world needs more Julie Graham’s.

  40. Myrna Breitbart

    It is very difficult to put into words what I feel at this very sad and (for me) totally unexpected news. Julie and I had many ties — Clark and the Pioneer Valley. We used to laugh at the fact that we would be more likely to see each other at the AAG meetings than in Amherst. As hard as it was to find that time to meet with all the travel and work, I counted on Julie being here as my closest colleague in Geography and a soul mate re. our common interests in alternative economies locally. Julie’s contributions to the field and to those she mentored (and continues to mentor through her prolific and profound scholarship) are truly significant and will endure. What gets me in the gut right now, however, is trying to come to terms with the reality of never seeing her again, sharing a big hug and that wonderful smile. I feel privileged to have worked at one (short) time with Julie and the whole collective and will hold her in my heart.

  41. It is a painful loss to our geography program. I am not in the same subfield as Julie, but Julie gave incredible support and encouragement to junior faculty members like me in work and life. I still remembered she amazingly showed up in my baby shower after her medical treatment in March 2008. Her warmth will be with me forever.

  42. Julie’s work with Kathy literally changed the way I see the world. She will be sorely missed, but her work on alternative futures, seeing and envisioning possibilities, and regarding obstacles is things to be grappled with, not impassable barriers, will live on.

  43. I heard this sad, sad news this morning. Just yesterday, I was introducing a new grad student to Gibson-Graham’s work and telling a few stories of how inspired I felt by their work and humanity. I was lucky to meet Julie a few times while I was a grad student at Minnesota. When she came to give a guest lecture, not only did she give a wonderful talk, but took time to meet individually with students and took a bunch of us to lunch. During that long lunch at a round table with half a dozen women grad students, Julie created such an atmosphere of warmth and genuine interest in us and our work – I suspect that none of us will ever forget it. Also, I recall sitting in several packed rooms at AAG sessions, hearing Julie – even in her weakened physical state – commanding the rapt attention and palpable affection of everybody in the room. The thing that was important to me in their work was the hope. Julie’s AAG presentations left me in tears because they showed possibility and not just critique. I only wish I could have worked more closely with her.

  44. My first encounter with Julie was just about 15 years ago. She gave a talk that made me think and want to argue. She show-cased her students. Both were acts of scholarship that made me want to know her better. Later, she met with some of my students and gave them the confidence to engage philosophically with politics as thinking can be a powerful tool for change. Over the years my scholarship has benifited through engagements with her work, but more importantly my life has been enriched because I knew her.

  45. Julie Graham was a dear friend and colleague, a powerhouse of intellect, an inspiration in her battle with physical adversity, a humanist who cared about the victims of mindless capitalism and market forces, and a kind, funny, upbeat presence wherever she happened to be. I will miss her greatly.

    Rud Platt

  46. Julie, words cannot express the depth of the loss that those of us who knew you are beginning to experience. You were an amazing person who touched the lives of so many with both your work and your generosity of spirit. The world is a much better place for your having been a part of it. Thankfully for many of us, you remain a significant part of our lives through your writing and your powerful intellectual partnership with Kathie. Rest in Peace.

  47. (Here is a piece I just wrote, but I’ll post another later with Abby about collaboration.)

    I’m still having trouble looking people in the eye as I walk through the UMass campus. Worried, I suppose, that a stranger might see the sorrow, the vastness of our loss, or maybe I am scared to reveal that.
    I want to write about what it was like to teach with Julie, to be her student, and her advisee. She had high expectations for all of us in each of those roles and yet, was utterly forging when we didn’t meet those expectations and failed in some way. She balanced all our needs as individuals, our lives, our work, our families, and never lost the utterly practical aspects about what we were doing as graduate students and what our objectives were.
    Julie had one of the finest westward facing offices on campus, and we would sit in there, working into the evening as the twilight settled over the pond, library, and old chapel. We plotted out her undergraduate class down to the minute, estimating the time each student would take to present a topic, how long we wanted to spend on questions, the minutes of each video clip. She was as demanding of her own teaching of both the undergraduate and graduate sections as she was with her advisees’ writing. After we had worked for several hours, and the sun had gone down, she would ask me to schedule an advising appointment.
    As an advisor, Julie planned with the same precision as she did with her classes, working through the scales of months and years, and clarifying priorities. I would leave these meetings with clarity about my next goal, and with an awareness of the care and compassion a person had just gifted me. At my job at Greenfield Community College, I would share with my peers how she embodied all those goals of great advising that we strove to instill and attain.
    I have to admit, Julie scared me too. Scared me with her brilliance, her capacity to know, her inexhaustible curiosity, her willingness to listen to my stories and bloom with empathy. I feared my inability to meet that capacity of knowledge and understanding, that a lifetime seemed too short to attain comparable depths. I suppose I also feared her disapproval. She once scolded me for my proofreading skills. I have always prided myself with my writing skills, but also recognize that I am a failed Virgo, so that despite my intentions and desires for order, I seem to wallow in, and enjoy messiness, disorder, and I tend to rely on my learned assets too much. Julie could see that with transparent clarity. And then, in the depths of my insecurity as a student and writer, she would bestow one of her startlingly human terms of affection and call me sweetie. I don’t think anyone on this earth, other than Julie, has ever called me sweetie. At a lunch, just this afternoon, I learned that she called one of my peers honey. And so it seems, she had populated her world with sweeties, honeys, and fuckers. Everyone at the lunch table agreed that there were few better ways to classify humanity.
    Julie was human, she seemed to relish in her freedom to express frustration or sorrow in politics, policy, flawed thinking. I love remembering her curses, and yet, she would always return to building possibility, a space for alternatives to exist. When I slipped into emulating her frustration, she would guide me back towards the light. And similarly, when I constructed gilded idols, she would remind me about the flaws where the gold foil was applied too thin. It was not about one thing with Julie, but the entirety, the searching, the discovery, the equity, the possibility.
    My last meeting with Julie was just before she left for Australia. We met at her house to finish grades and archive the undergraduate class we taught. It was a chilly late December day, the snow not yet on the ground. She thought I looked cold, and despite my protests, she built me a fire in the shallow fireplace with a tall pyre of logs. The heat cast us in the glow of a place in the woods of Shutesbury, the familiar embrace of living in the valley, the warmth of things that we enjoy and value about a life of feeling, of sensation, of having something… and its loss, both of which are ultimately valuable, and are made more valuable by the other.

    Leo Hwang-Carlos
    4/6/10

  48. I have not spoken with Julie in too long, though we emailed some in the last couple of years. I am at a loss for words to describe the grief of losing her presence in this world – perhaps those will come later – but in thinking about her yesterday and today I have been filled instead with gratitude and memories. I remember meals together, talking about CPE and about how to understand and change the world.

    I remember learning the glories of really slow-cooked onions watching her make a quiche to share with me when I came to visit in Shutsbury.

    I remember the shock of getting a B on a paper I wrote for her as a graduate student (me being the straight-A type), and the enormous gift she gave me when she smiled and said “You have other things to focus on right now” and learning then, and when she gracefully set limits on how much she would do for CPE (yes, I’ll teach the SI this year, but I won’t also serve on the workshop committee), that saying no gracefully is a critical part of really saying yes to what we care about.

    I remember seeing the vibrancy and dedication of the relationship she had with Kath (though I’ve never met Kath, so saw it only through Julie) and being inspired to seek out partners that would engage me that powerfully.

    I have been inspired again and again by who Julie has been in this world, and she will continue to be a beacon for me as I strive to build a life that is vibrant, joyful, and makes a difference.

  49. John Baldridge

    As for so many others, J.K. opened my mind to new becomings that changed my life. My dissertation, which I will defend in April, draws heavily on their recent work, and I had hoped that I would be able to meet both Julie and Kathie in the years ahead. Alas, Julie, you will be missed by many people you never knew….

  50. Michelle Carnegie

    Julie’s collective authorial presence as J.K. Gibson-Graham has profoundly influenced how I see and think about the world. I’ll be forever grateful to her for that. She and Kathie have shown me what academics can do to contribute to changing the world for the better, through their own thinking, writing, theorising, research, teaching and community engagement. This has been truly inspiring to me. Julie is also a role model in how she so courageously and gracefully dealt with the enormous challenges that life threw her way in recent years. She’ll always remain in my memory to have been an extraordinarily strong and generous woman, who was deeply passionate and committed to making a difference right to the end.

  51. I was lucky enough to get to know Julie as a grad student at Umass: in her classes, at AESA events and later on as a member of my dissertation
    committee.

    Leafing through my growing collection of notes on the solidarity economy in Berlin, I was so much looking forward to discussing this work with
    her as it begins to take shape.

    I will always remember her as a great Marxist-feminist scholar, but foremost as an inspiring and generous person with the most beautiful
    sense of humour.

    Esra Erdem

  52. Paul Chatterton

    Radical, inspiring, funky profs are a rarity – and Julie was one of them. I only got to hang out with her briefly, but even then she was engaged with the possibilities that we have a better world to build. She reminds us of the wider task of academics. That we are in it to change our world, each other and our institutions for the better. We continue that task inspired by you Julie. Love and solidarity, Paul x

  53. Richie Howitt

    The social fabric that is the community of geographers, activists and lovers of ideas and practice that Julie wove around her is missing such a sparkling thread that we all will notice the loss. For those closest to her, our love and sorrow and joy at Julie’s wonderful gifts to each and all will re-weave what she was so gifted at creating – and some of that sparkle has passed to each of us. But we shall miss and treasure her particular illumination and passion so much.

  54. James D Sidaway

    Julie’s work – a critical spirit – endures

  55. Kelly Dombroski

    After a few years of working with Kathie, meeting Julie last year was a surprise in that I began to know them as separate people! I was so impressed with Julie’s ability to inject a gentle word of wisdom, penetrating question, or appropriate story into our discussions and seminars. I am sure her recent difficulties with breathing and speaking accentuated the way in which her contributions were always timely and appropriate — she spoke only what was needed and when it was needed, meaning everybody stopped to listen.

    During the time we spent at Henry Lawson Drive drafting the Manifesto for Ethical Living in the Anthropocene, I got to see first hand the way Julie could turn around a whole conversation — from something less productive into a search for possibilities for moving forward.

    What a beautiful person! She will be sadly missed by the many people whose lives she has touched here in Australia.

  56. I did not know her well but benefited from her generous and wise soul. What a lovely person – so committed to the common good and the living economy that is our lives. Blessings to her as she transitions.

  57. Kenneth Levin

    Few others truly “click” with so many. Julie had a remarkable way of making a special place in her life
    for an enormously wide style of personalities and thinkers. She found the courage to love us all.
    Her life and work were a major blessing. She will be missed dearly. ~Kenny

  58. Louisa Schein

    Unfathomable.
    I met Julie about 15 years ago as one of the many junior scholars she took in as a spiritual as well as intellectual mentor. It was stunning how much love she had to share, making scores of us feel unique and valued. Her personal generosity was immeasurable and never in conflict with her passion for equitable social change, her deeply considered political vision.
    I will remember her bright almost mischievous smile, the joy she brought to things most of us find banal or challenging.
    Indomitable, Julie! I grieve that we have to lose her so soon…

  59. Nicholas Dahmann

    The news of Julie Graham’s death this morning tinged my day with an undeniable sense of loss. Though I never met Julie, her work as J.K Gibson-Graham has unwaveringly moved my thought and action since first encounter. Just a few days ago I was pouring through A Postcapitalist Politics for inspiration. This spirit of inventive hope in Julie Graham’s thought, work and life must live on.

  60. Lauren Costello

    Julie’s passing reminds me of the things I will miss about her. Along with Jenny Cameron and Kathie, I spent some fun times with Julie in Melbourne. I remember we ate alot, talked alot about food, ususally until we were hoarse and conducted some very unusual supervision meetings. The depth of Julie’s generosity and kindness was unending. If Julie’s purpose in life was to make a difference, then we know she has. For me, she (along with Kathie) taught me to think differently about the world and how I live in it. Julie will leave a hole in all our lives but also leaves a legacy.

  61. Amy Silverstein Cramer

    Julie was one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever known. It is her smile that I will remember the most – so genuine and warm, and filled with so much depth and kindness. Julie generously served on my dissertation committee, she allowed me as a young graduate student to write a few papers with her, and she was a friend. Julie gave to me – her student and mentee – inspiration, confidence, curiosity, and passion to do what I am able to make the world a better place.

    I can’t begin to express the loss I feel with her departure from this world. In searching for solace in the midst of so much pain, I will look to my students and dedicate my life to letting her work with me as a student and human being inform my relationships with my students. I will do everything in my power to have her life and example live through me and continue to give students those invaluable gifts.

  62. Debbie Rose & Peter Boyle

    Just a few days ago we said goodbye to Julie and Kathie with hugs and kisses, and bright hopes for Julie’s return next year. The George’s river was flowing along, the cockatoos were screeching, the butcher birds singing their lovely (repetitive) little songs. We talked about the powerful owls, and about the binoculars Julie had given Kathie and Dave to help them enjoy their amazing home on the edge of the cliff above the river. Julie and Kathie walked along the river path almost every day. I remember sitting there one day and hearing voices going on about a bird, an anthropologist bird. Slowly I registered that they were trying out the new binoculars on me!
    That’s how Peter and I will remember Julie – warm, funny, frail, loving, and indomitable. Her intelligence and passion, her inclusive collegiality and her feminist commitment – they’re all there in the books, and we can go on reading and loving J.K. Gibson-Graham for a long, long time. But that beautiful woman, who could converse with anyone about anything, will be sorely missed here in Picnic Point as well as in all the other places around the world where she made her mark. Goodbye dear friend: we’ll never hear a river bird without thinking of you!
    Debbie Bird Rose & Peter Boyle

  63. Alison Stenning

    This is such sad news. Like others, I have been inspired over and over again by Julie’s and Kathie’s work, by its generosity, its vigour and its politics. And Julie’s own generosity, vigour and politics inspired me in person too. It was a privilege to know her, and to have her work with us in exploring our own research. Thank you, Julie.

    My thoughts are with Kathie, and with Julie’s other friends and colleagues.

  64. Louise Crabtree

    Having been inspired by Julie and Kathie’s work for over a decade and seen them in full swing at the AAG, I had the delight and honour of meeting with them last week to talk about community mapping methodologies and research possibilities. I am heartbroken to not be able to share this work with Julie, but so thrilled and inspired to have had the discussion. Julie’s passing is such a loss, but the impact and legacy of her work and character are just beautiful.

    Like that of so many others here, my work was profoundly changed by encountering J.K.’s work. I remember laughing with rapturous glee when I first encountered the chapter “The Economy, Stupid!” as an undergrad reading – such mischief, passion, and clarity! Such awesome, excellent women! I hope to nurture and embolden my work and those around me with something like Julie’s fire, humour and grace.

  65. Elissa Sutherland

    I am so sad at the passing of Julie. Words can’t express… Her generosity of intellect and spirit will be forever remembered and missed. As I glance around my study, hers and Kathie’s books take pride of place – ready at hand for my own teaching and thinking. Her legacy and spirit lives on.

  66. Scott M. Freundschuh

    We in the Geography and Spatial Sciences program at NSF were deeply saddened to learn of Julie’s death. She was a caring, supportive colleague who offered keen and insightful counsel to colleagues in her reviews of many proposals. She mentored many young geographers through the research process. She was always giving, always present, always supportive to colleagues in the discipline. Geography has lost a gem.

  67. With deep love and gratitude.
    For the beautiful Julie in all of her manifestations: wisdom, clarity, fun, tragedy, pain, and now the object of loss. The love that vibrates in my cells for Julie has nowhere to go. So it continues. Julie is free.

  68. As we write remembrances about you and try to capture in words your positive impact on the people you interacted with, or your rich contributions to the Department of Geosciences, and to UMass and your profession more broadly, it is becoming painfully real that you won’t be back. Your kind spirit will live on in the halls of Morrill Science Center, but your colleagues, friends, and students miss you!

  69. Melissa Gilbert

    Julie was brilliant, inspirational, and generous. She was supportive of so many women, myself included, as we tried to figure out the academic/activist path. Her life and work were invaluable. I believe she will live on in the memories of all of us who internalized her teachings and values.

  70. I can’t help but remember the first and the last time I was with Julie.

    Like Val, I benefitted from Julie’s generosity and openness around the matter of getting a lift. As a new arrival in Amherst in 1985 (where I had gone to begin grad. school), I found myself stranded near a strip mall way out in South Amherst unable to find a bus to take me to campus. Panicking I realized I’d better hitchhike or I’d never get there. The problem was that I had never done this, and fear for my personal safety just didn’t allow me to stick my thumb out. Then I saw a woman in an old Saab pulling out of the parking lot, and I decided to knock on her window and ask her for a lift because it seemed the safest thing to do. Of course this turned out to be the car window of Julie Graham, and that began our friendship. I couldn’t be more surprised and delighted when I met again the cool lady who gave me a lift later that academic year at my first CPE meeting. She often teased me in the years following this event about how I’d commandeered her car.

    The last time I saw Julie was at her home in Shutesbury. I had the privilege of spending a few days at her home with my husband George (who was staying with her during his sabbatical in the Valley), and Susan J., who also spent part of each year living with Julie. Those days were great: it was like the most wonderful countercultural sorority house in the world (apologies to George). We enjoyed long conversations, and Julie was endlessly patient in talking with us about a challenging decision we were trying to make at the time. The four of us watched a number of episodes of “The Sopranos,” which was a minor obsession of Julie’s at the time. I thought it was great that this über-feminist intellectual was taken with Tony Soprano, but then Julie was someone who really knew how to theorize a complex contradiction!

    In between these two reflections, all I can think of is how much I’ve always admired and loved Julie. She was the most “integrated” person I’ve ever met. There was simply no separation between her scholarly research with Kathy, her teaching, her political commitments and activism, and her personal life. Like so many others I remember her great smile, the way she locked onto you during conversation, and the way she used her long, graceful hands when she was speaking. I am remembering her spiky hair and her collection of beautiful dangly earrings as well. She had this way of making you feel as if the conversation you were having was the most important and interesting one in the world. I miss her so.

  71. Collaboration

    In the classroom, Julie created a comfortable space where we could foster mutual respect with each other as co-creators of knowledge and understanding. That camaraderie extended beyond the class and, with Julie’s encouragement we decided we could do a panel together for the Rethinking Marxism conference. So many of us were enthused about the conference that Julie suggested that we pair up and co-present in order to allow each of us to share in the experience. This is how we—Leo and Abby—started writing together.

    We discovered that working together, rather than being a liability, made each of our works stronger. Collaboration allows us to learn from each other through seeing how the other person engages with theory and the ways the theory can be applied to a variety of cases in a variety of ways. It also forces us to bring together disparate ideas in ways that strengthen the commonalities. Collaboration helps bring possibility to light, in ways that are hard, if not impossible to do in isolation. So, in teaching us about collaboration, Julie gave us the skills to be both teachers and learners in the production of knowledge.

    Now that we have become immersed in a collaborative process, neither one of us can imagine working without the benefits that accrue from the endeavor. We recognize that all research is produced socially and that collaboration is consciously political. By highlighting what we create as academics as co-produced, we are also situating ourselves in the collaborative world that we would like to inhabit.

    The richness of our collaborative process strengthens our individual selves as well. The strength and the humor we see in each other enriches our independent sense of self, and allows us to build a reservoir of support and possibility throughout our days.

    Thank you, Julie.

  72. I don’t know if this is the right forum, and you may already know that a potluck gathering is planned for Saturday, April 10 from 12 – 5 at Julie’s house. We figure around 2:00 or so can be a time for people who would like to speak. Perhaps some of the remembrances written on this website could be read aloud for those who cannot attend.

    Parking will be limited so carpool when possible and look for signs to let you know what we have worked out.

  73. I too first met Julie when she was a graduate student at Clark. My first impressions of her were that she was tall, slender and elegant, with a laugh that was as light as air. I remember her hands, and her long fingers that were as expressive when she spoke as her words.

    As our roles shifted, hers to professor at UMass and mine to graduate student at UMass and then faculty in Texas, she was a continued source of inspiration, both as mentor, dissertation committee member, and personal friend.

    Perhaps as important as my connection to her scholarship has been my connection to her spiritual values. She introduced me to the works of Thich Nhat Hanh and of Mark Epstein, both of which, along with her supportive insight, have been helpful to me during tough personal times.

    I just had an email exchange with Julie a couple weeks ago. It is strange and disconsolate now to continually remind myself, as this news sinks in, that it will be my last. As with many others who had just been in touch with her, it is a reminder that the line between life and death can be very fine.

  74. Such an unexpected and profound loss. Julie Graham, my collaborator, supporter, E2M board member, teacher, student, patron, dear friend, and most importantly, sister. I’m sorry you won’t get to read the nearly finished book you encouraged me to write, or feel the coolness of the coffee ice cream we are creating at your suggestion. Yet I am comforted knowing that neither could ever provide the enlightenment and joy you are now experiencing having gone beyond your physical limitations into the Light. God Bless You sister, I will miss you dearly.

  75. simon batterbury

    Sad news.
    Particularly given the flight path: I live close to where a lot of JK Gibson-Graham’s work was done in Victoria, Australia; used to attend the seminar series at Arizona where Julie just spoke; and was a student down the road from UMass at Clark (where Julie also got her PhD) back in the 80s. A particularly fine legacy of Julie’s work has been the international linkages made between continents and their peoples. It lives on.

  76. There is something terribly and necessarily private about grief, but Julie’s generosity, her example, pulls me beyond the intimate part of my sadness. I wonder if everyone is checking these pages with such frequency – comforted by the sense that we all knew the same Julie (!), though in many different ways. The same qualities described over and over – her kindness, empathy, intelligence, generosity, warmth, humour… Kathie, if you read this, I feel so sad for you. And there are so many others I don’t know trying to make sense of the world without her – good luck. Julie, RIP.

    • Jenny Cameron

      Hi Maria – yes, I’m certainly checking these pages frequently (and I suspect many others are as well). I have said to friends that I never imagined I could get such a source of comfort and connection through a website. As you point out, it’s wonderful to see so many comments in the same vein coming in from familiar and unfamiliar friends and colleagues of Julie’s (and Kathie’s), and to learn about the lasting impact she has had on so many people’s lives. Thank-you Yahya and the others involved for establishing this website – it is a precious, precious gift.

  77. Julie was sweetness and light. Go well, darling.

  78. The Geosciences Department at UMass has posted a rememberance of Julie at:
    http://www.geo.umass.edu/Julie%20Graham%20remembered.pdf

    Don

  79. When I first met Julie (in 1967, I think) she and Jim were hauling rocks out of his cellar hole by the wheelbarrow-full up a plank ramp. She was filthy and tired and exuberant and when we were introduced I got my first and lasting glimpse of that smile and that warmth. I left the site a little later with the odd feeling that I’d met a person who had somehow communicated that she really liked me and that she figured my time and place to be nearly as worth it to her as they were to me. What a delightful first impression to carry away from an encounter! Gratefully we became friends and housemates and that feeling grew. Julie had such a gift for liking people and inspiring them by the simple (and with her, instinctive) act of taking them seriously. I know I’m not likely to ever meet a less judgmental person and I’m so grateful to her for having given me that example to attempt to follow.

    Jules, you’re the greatest and all our hearts are going love-nova for you and kathy and alfie and your innermost family right now. Such a fireworks show the tired and dazzling world has never seen.

  80. Maxine Schmidt

    I’ve known Julie for more than 25 years. I was a grad student in Geology at UMass, and I had known Julie’s sister Lisa in Cambridge before that. That connection meant that I got an extra big smile in the hallway, and the occasional hug as well. Once I became a librarian, she was one of my best “customers,” who never failed to thank me for my efforts. I can’t imagine those hallways in Morrill without her.

  81. Marianna Pavlovskaya

    It is hard to put it in words. Julie has been an academic that you want to be. Powerful intellectually, inspiring, transformative, charismatic, generous in all possible ways, humble, and incredibly warm human being. We learned so much by reading her and Kathie’s work but also by watching her speak and perform, talking to her over a dinner table, and witnessing her courage in opening new paths as well as overcoming the physical limits suddenly imposed on her body. It is a remarkable life.

  82. Sandra Davenport

    As a research assistant in the Department of Human Geography at ANU it was through Kathie that I was first introduced to the work of JK Gibson-Graham and then over the years it was wonderful to meet Julie on her many visits to Canberra.
    Julie was such a beautiful person. I will always remember her warmth and kindness, her calm strength and positivity in coping with her cancer and its aftermath, her friendliness and encouragement and support – and her amazing attention to and eye for detail as we proofread and worked on bibliographies and indexes!
    I feel so privileged to have worked with JK Gibson-Graham and to have been sometimes involved in the unfolding of their awe inspiring work.
    My heart goes out to Kathie and the great loss she has suffered in the passing away of such a wonderful friend and collaborator. My deepest, deepest sympathy to her and to all of Julie’s friends and family.

  83. J.K Gibson-Graham changed the way I see the world, and Julie changed the way I see myself. I walked into her classroom excited to think through the possibly in Julie and Kath’s work, but terrified to do this; the fear in intellectual inadequacy loomed large. But Julie did not leave a seat for this fear in her classroom. On the first day of class she said graduate school is really hard, that we have been trained to critique and be on the defense. She also named that fear of being “found out” as an intellectual fraud. And then she invited us to let go of all of that and leave our egos at the door. This invitation opened such an amazing space to explore and find confidence in that exploration. Julie saw and nurtured potential in us all. It was not just rethinking economy it was rethinking the world, and in the process I did not go unchanged.

    Julie had a deep and lasting impact on my ability to see myself as a capable actor in this world. This understanding has both deepened and widened overtime; I see the potential more fully in myself and others, and for this I am forever grateful. Julie, you allowed me see myself. And as an overdetermined self, I know we each carry you with us, and I am excited to see where this takes you in the course of our lives.

  84. Oh Julie … the saddest news (!) that I greeted with the urge to resist. That’s not good enough for so important a moment as this, so I reach for words to lead me … and found Rumi.

    Wake and Walk Out

    If I flinched at every grief, I
    would be an intelligent idiot. If
    I were not the sun, I’d ebb and
    flow like sadness. If you were not
    my guide, I’d wander lost in Sanai.
    If there were no light, I’d keep
    opening and closing the door. If
    there were no rose garden, where
    would the morning breezes go? If
    love did not want music and laughter
    and poetry, what would I say? If
    you were not medicine, I would look
    sick and skinny. If there were no
    leafy limbs in the air, there would
    be no wet roots. If no gifts were
    given, I’d grow arrogant and cruel.
    If there were no way into God, I
    would not have lain in the grave of
    this body so long. If there were no
    way from left to right, I could not
    be swaying with the grasses. If
    there were no grace and no kindness,
    conversation would be useless, and
    nothing we do would matter. Listen
    to the new stories that begin every
    day. If light were not beginning
    again in the east, I would not now
    wake and walk out inside this dawn.

    Oh Julie, I am with you on the cushion, and will treasure all those ‘most alive moments’ when I was able to meet you again. Sharing Adya with you last May was pure joy. Namaste!

    To Julie’s friends and colleagues,
    Thank you so much for this space to share and connect. How wonderfully thoughtful! I can feel Julie in all of these amazing expressions of love, respect, appreciation and gratitude. And my heart is soft with the pain of loss that is felt so deeply. To know that Kath, her brother, and those friends so close to Julie were with her brings me a sense of comfort. My deepest prayers are with you all.

    Peace and Bless.

  85. Catharina Williams

    Julie, thank you for being you. Loving, kindness, is here to stay. Rest in peace a generous spirit.

  86. Dorothea Kleine

    For me like for many, what Julie wrote and said affected the way we think about the world. And just as importantly, the way Julie lived her life challenged understandings of what it meant to be an academic,colleague, researcher, activist, citizen. This is very sad news, but it is some comfort that Julie in her irrepressible way leaves us her (co-)written works and scores of people who have benefitted and learned from her personal and professional generosity, non-conformism, determination and courage. She continues to be a source of inspiration.

  87. With deep sadness i share my condolences with all of Julie’s friends, colleagues and family. First encountered through her published work with Katherine, it was a delight eventually to meet Julie (and others with whom she worked). One of my first opportunities to spend time with Julie was strolling around a chilly University of Toronto campus prior to her talk based on the new introduction to the End of Capitalism. I’m sure i came across as a fan-boy – given that i am, indeed, an enthusiastic fan of diverse economies and Julie and Katherine. Following Julie’s talk i was the first of several respondents and, being a popular educator and Freirian thinker (i.e. one who applies dialectical reasoning) i ‘naturally’ started my comments with all the many connections i’d made between J.K. Gibson-Graham’s work and the popular education and popular economics work i’d been involved with. Unaccustomed to academic culture i was a little puzzled that every subsequent respondent launched straight into critique mode (a few tipped their hats with respect but all spent their time elaborating what they felt was missing or weak in Julie’s work – it seemed to me that everyone was saying “you left out what i am most interested in”). Speaking with Julie afterward we both commented on the combative (if polite) exchanges and she explained that it was like this all the time; i was gratified to learn that she valued the way in which i exercised dialectical thinking, connecting our work and ideas and acknowledging the critical dialogue that we both hoped would continue. And it has continued. Julie’s work will live on in the popular education work i represent – J.K. Gibson-Graham’s work is a missing piece that connects, in numerous ways, popular education and popular economics. It is deeply influential. And there is much work to be done.

    I send my love to you all.

  88. I knew Julie from Mark Hart’s Tuesday night sitting group. I would like to share part of a dream I had written down in the morning (before) I read of Julie’s death.

    “There was movement unrestricted, free, as if flying but not in air, along with a perspective Clear and Wide that All Is Well. It was actually very pleasurable, in my dream, and there was wide, unrestricted gratitude and happiness. There were moments when it became clear that others (like me, only they’d been ‘there’ longer) were plentiful, while there were still seemingly many still in the more restricted (human) form who couldn’t or didn’t ‘fly’ freely or … know yet that they could.
    … I was with someone else, a woman?… and she seemed to be transitioning, not yet accustomed to being ‘here,’ where … all it took was a little concentration, the choice of a certain perspective, to be ‘free’ — ”

    I had been awake for 15 minutes, explaining my dream to my husband and typing it into a computer draft, when he saw the email that explained that Julie had died.

    Then a song by The Who” (I’m not a particular fan) “I’m Free” came to play in my mind, with the line, “I’m Free! And I’m waiting … for you … to follow me!” — a funny ‘internal d.j. ‘ moment?

    At the risk of sounding like a nutcase, I will report here that I ‘ve received morning dreams on occasion that were (more clearly ‘from’) persons whom I found out (later) had died in the night, including my grandmother & a dear friend, with sometimes specific “messages” and other times requests — tho this time, there was no clear “messenger,” no identity of a communicator, and no need expressed at all — just this amazing sense of freedom.

    Tho my dream didn’t identify “Julie,” it is comforting. I think of her this way, now: unfettered, given back, in complete generosity. (free)

  89. Julie and I were mere ships crossing in the night, usually on the staircase as I was leaving a yoga class and she was ascending to another. We’d always stop and talk to each other, exuding warmth and humor back and forth. When we left a lecture or meeting at the same time, we got to know more about each other’s lives; she learned who I was a little more, and I her. I was looking forward to sharing more when all this went down. It hit me like a bolt to know that I would not have this opportunity again, as I always looked forward to our spontaneous conversations which deepened and lengthened each time we spoke. For those of you who were close to Julie, I express my sympathy for your loss and hope that in time, her greatest contributions to each of you will loom larger all the time. I know that in what little I knew Julie, I wanted more….

  90. David Kristjanson-Gural

    I’ve also been deeply saddened by this news. As a member of my dissertation committee and then through her writing and organizing Julie helped me to see that it is possible to maintain one’s intellectual integrity and commitment to justice in spite of the way academia and in particular economics makes it difficult to do so. More than that, it is possible to flourish as a scholar and teacher and to do the work we are engaged in with grace, humor and wisdom. Like many of you I have faced the particular challenge of trying to insert into uncooperative discourses something to do with class; some way of thinking that challenges the status quo and it is not easy work. It has helped me immensely to have Julie there to say “yes, in fact this work can be done and it is worth doing.” I suspect she will keep saying this to me and to us and for that I simply want to express my gratitude to her.

  91. Our period of contact was brief – a graduate course – but Julie’s impact on her students was profound. Today I celebrate the gifts that Julie Graham gave me, including profound intellectual challenge, sincere hope for a better world, energy to work towards that better world, and a lesson on making space for care for self and others in any life, including an academic life

  92. Dianne Rocheleau

    Julie has been a bright and shining presence in the academy and in so many people’s lives. I never worked with her very closely and yet she always took time at conferences and in workshops where we met to talk, to share, to celebrate the common threads of our work and our politics. There are few other people with whom I could share the love of trees and landscape, the hope for other possible worlds that we could create through daily practice, the life course travails and rewards of women in the academy, and a commitment to infuse scholarship and politics with deep feeling and fellowship. My enduring memories of her will be her stunning a capella rendition of The Highwayman at a small workshop in Oregon, her tears when she spoke of the threatened trees in her homeplace, and her conspiratorial whispers of encouragement and solidarity in the corridors of countless meetings. Her work will continue to bestow insight, curiosity, and a challenge to bring daily practice and deep thinking together.

  93. Thank you all so much for sharing your memories, your love, your inspirations. It’s so incredible to glimpse the size and depth of Julie’s many dear communities. I’ve finally been able to write a little bit after this hard week, and wanted to share:

    Julie and I first met in the context of organizing the Other Economies Are Possible track at the Boston Social Forum. She and Kath’s work in The End of Capitalism had changed my life four years before, offering me a pathway out of what felt like the inevitable defeat of a strictly oppositional anti-capitalist politics. I was opened to a whole new sense of what my world was made of, and of what we might collectively imagine and create, building on the “other economies” that we already enact.

    I asked Julie, fingers crossed, to come and speak at the Forum, secretly doubting that such a brilliant academic would give me (a scraggly young activist, organizer, and amateur aspiring radical scholar with no academic creds or institution) the time of day. How little did I yet know of Julie Graham! Full of affirmations and ideas, she enthusiastically agreed to speak, to help organize and to hold meetings at her house. It was the beginning of a friendship that has been crucial in my life.

    Julie helped me, like no other friend and teacher, to integrate myself. In a culture where activists aren’t supposed to get too theoretical and theorists don’t always like to get their hands dirty, Julie relentlessly affirmed for me that my attempts to work in both worlds were valuable and well worth the struggle. She affirmed for me that ideas can be powerful tools for transformation, that our theory has everything to do with how we make our worlds, and that I didn’t need to be an “official” academic to engage in the inspiring work of imagining “a postcapitalist politics.” Julie taught me that I could be a whole person drawing on all of my strengths in the service of fighting and dreaming and building towards a world of love, justice and dignity. Though we didn’t see each other often, Julie became an anchor for me, a safe place, a home base to which I could return occasionally and be rejuvenated for the work ahead. Her love, her spirit, her intellect, her whole being, has been such an incredible gift in my life.

    There was another crucial aspect to this integration that Julie encouraged in me and, I think, in many others: the seamless connection between thinking and feeling. I would come to her with my resistances, with my “left melancholia,” with my desire to make an enemy I could not defeat. And she would patiently remind me (for the umpteenth time) why a stance of hope and possibility was so important. We have to feel our own power, she would tell me, and “people have put so much energy into talking about capitalism and how bad it is, but imagine–just imagine!–what would happen if that much energy went into telling the stories of all of the alternatives, all of the ways that we are powerful and creative and making something different!” She would tell me this with tears welling from a deep reserve of commitment and love and empathy for the pain of the world, and her tears would remind me of my own sorrow for the foreclosure of hope and my own deep commitment to the work of cultivating possibility. I had been taught in this culture that thinking was a kind of counterpoint to feeling; to use my rational mind to “cut through” the cloudiness of sentiment. Julie reminded me, relentlessly and lovingly, that the only true way to think is through feeling. That good thinking arises from passion and from a deep love for people and for the world, and that good thinking generates and sustains the feelings that allow us to engage the world with compassion, creativity and wisdom.

    It became clear to me that those (sometimes including myself) who saw her work as ignoring the power of capitalism, had not yet understood what she was really saying. Julie felt the pain of this world deeply, understood the power of what we are up against. But she chose –reminding us always that it is was a choice–to face that pain with a courageous and audacious hope. To cultivate, inside ourselves and in our communities, those feelings and ideas that allow us to stand in our power, to wield our capacities to be together, to love together, to imagine together, to build together.

    Julie was probably the only person in the world who could have convinced me to go to grad school, and she convinced simply by inviting, because I knew that she understood me, believed in me, and that I could trust her to help steward my spirit and commitments through the process. I came to UMass to work with her this past fall. I can’t begin to express how blessed I feel to have been able to spend that short, precious time with her as a teacher and advisor. My heart aches at her loss, for all of us and for the world. And I also know that Julie has given us the gift of an incredible community of brilliant, loving, and committed people who will stick together, support each other, share the lessons we’ve learned from our dear friend and teacher, and go out into the world and make a difference.

    Thank you, Julie, from the deepest spaces of my heart. I love you, and I will carry your inspiration with me as long as I live.

  94. michael johnson

    To Ellen Kaz:

    “I think of her this way, now: unfettered, given back, in complete generosity. (free)”

    Thanks. You’ve give me courage to share an experience a few days after Julie’s death. It happened at a time when I was pretty much into grieving my loss of her. I had been looking forward to re-connecting with her around a book project we shared, going with her to an appointment at Sloan-Kettering in NYC where I live, and just plain getting back together after her months in Australia.

    I was taking a shower, feeling heavy but with the usual brain chatter running through my head. Then all of that stopped and suddenly I felt her presence. High energy, even playful, and seeming to enjoy my surprise and confusion. “Listen, buddy, you guys have to finish the book.” And then it was over.

  95. Bronwyn Parry

    Really shocked and deeply saddened to hear this awful news – Julie was always so very kind and engaging and generous with her work and ideas, it was always just such a total pleasure to spend time with her and the last time I saw her was no exception. My heart goes out to her family, colleagues and friends. I just want to say to those folks who live in Pioneer Valley who were Julie’s mates – I never saw Julie in her ‘natural habitat’ as it were only ever in Australia or in London/Oxford but in a way I felt I didn’t need to as she always evoked it so well for me in conversation. She loved her home and all you folks so much and when she spoke of it to me I always thought gosh she and they are so lucky to have each other – I just wanted you to know how lovingly and proudly she always spoke of her community when away from home. Kath, if you pick this up, I know I’m a long way away but I’m so with you, sending so much love and strong thoughts, let me know if there is anything at all I can do. Bron. xxx

  96. I didn’t know Julie well at all, but I’m so saddened by the news. I interviewed her a couple of times a decade ago for an article on the alternative economies, and she struck me as a creative thinker who was able to convey her imagination in an infectious, passionate way. When I met her again, it was in a meditation group where her insights, sense of humor and inventive observations and connecting different strands from others in the session were always gems I’d look forward to. I’m certain that her light will continue to shine and am thankful for having her touch my life in even this modest way.

  97. Visiting West Virginia, I went on line for news from home. Suddenly, it was much more poignant than Labour’s progress in the general election. As I read the e-mails, there was a posting on the radical geography network that Julie Graham had died in Nashville, Tennessee, on the way home to Amherst, Massachusetts, yesterday.

    I suppose I have to declare straight out that Julie and I were lovers back in the late 1970s. She came to Clark in my second year of teaching in the Graduate School. She was a mature student with a strong academic background, particularly in 19th and 20 century literature, and an already debated sense of the political opportunities of feminism.

    We kind of drifted together as we would eventually drift away. In Worcester, we shared an apartment, geography, tobacco, and drink. At Julie’s house in Cooleyville, we shared (not literally) together with Eric, Jim, Tom, Dave and Phil together with a strong group of women namely Susie M (with kids), Nancy F and Helen Smith with Piglet. Julie’s more intense relationships were with women, especially, at that time, with Helen.

    I too remember, along with Phil, her willingness to engage in physical labor particularly shared house raising. But it was her shared work with Helen, the Smith-Graham, cottage industry, editorial team with a shared literary tradition that must have helped many men to academic posts in the Valley’s universities. Jim and myself, sitting at the other end of the table for the sacred weekly evening meal, would know that we were not part of the conversation when either Julie or Helen would shriek, yes, shriek, “But can you see what he wrote on page 9?!”
    That partnership was one of those incipient different businesses—that Gibson-Graham has championed.

    Maybe it is because I have a European, materialistic perspective on life and death that I increasingly feel the comments on this site (Thank You for it) are tending towards hagiography. “When she was good,” goes the old adage, “she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was…” Choose carefully your own words.

    She told me a story about an old woman in Shutesbury who had a set of antique drawers from an old pharmacy—small drawers, each labeled, two hundred across and twenty deep—4000 opportunities but every drawer was labeled and classified. The last drawer bottom right read “Pieces of String—Too Short to Save” a gross contradiction. I never found the old woman in Shutesbury. I think it was Julie’s metaphor about herself. Explore every opportunity, but most categories are fixed.

    I remember a rather academic argument with Julie about structuralism where I maintained it originated in anthropology, through linguistics, to French Marxism and she argued it originated in Marxism—her category, I lost. And I remember too, one cold February evening in 1979, walking with Julie to her car, for the drive to Cooleyville, and a very heated argument. I stopped in the roadway and protested that “ I can never win an argument if we only argued on your premises”—no pun intended. “All arguments are on my premises,” she declared. I threw my arm up in mock horror and it caught her on the left cheek. As I started to apologise, she said, “That was a slap! I’ve never been slapped before!” I said it was not a slap. “If I say it is a slap, it is a slap.” Categories.

    I think I learned the “Hands on the mouth” protest from Julie. The Munch-like “O” of a voiceless scream, both hands covering the mouth and then the explosive “Oh my Gawd”. There were two sorts of screams—real horror and mock horror. The eyes gave way, mock or real, the emotion—that hint of green to go with her preferred green earrings.

    The eyes have it, not the result of a political vote but the commanding, and conversely caring, direct engagement. When caring, those eyes provided the best back-rub in America: when commanding, they said, “Do not pass go”. At a personal level, that commanding look could accuse you before you did it—whatever it was supposed to be. And at a political level, the eyes said, though the lips smiled democratically, “Do you really think that is going to be a useful intervention?” Memories of second semester, 1978, and trying to sort out a range of radical readings—my class. “I’ll lead on reading Capital Volume I,” I said. “No,” said Julie, ” You will do gender.” Older and wiser, perhaps, but the student in control. I did gender, badly, but perhaps the first male attempt in the “history” of geography. She could command by looking at you, the very model of a 19th century Midwestern private school headmistress.

    She used names that way as well. Yes of endearment , but also reproach. With me it was my full name which I think was last used when I was baptized. “PhilIP” she would hiss, with the emphasis on the last syllable and the inflection upward. You knew you were in trouble. “PhilIP, that’s the third whiskey” captures it all.
    Julie was, at some levels, a deeply introverted individual, but managed to get out of herself: she both needed and supported others. I remember the essay tuition sessions with Susie Mosher as Susie returned to study: nothing forced. And most particularly, in her own family, distanced but close, in support of Lisa, of Alfie’s attempt to establish his artistic still-life credentials and latterly of the incredible, long and frequent round trips to support her mother’s final years. Of course, both then and later, I broached the issue of children. They were not a personal primary concern to her, and I do not suppose in Julie’s later marriage. She preferred to be Aunt Courage to Mother Courage. On the website much is written from activists, current and former students, celebrating her presence as a prepared and accessible teacher—she chose social reproduction deliberately over biological reproduction. Her students were her children. Aunt Courage.

    Courage. And, as I wind down, I’ll come back to how we parted. In the early eighties, Julie and Kath explored with Don Shakow at Clark, the structural limitations of capitalism. It became, for the three, a deeply personal and political experience. Out of it, both Julie and Kath finished their doctorates. Kath had fallen in love and started to raise a family. Julie was exploring the limits not of capitalism, but of the structural critique of capitalism. Julie and Kathy came together to develop that in a form , not just accessible to academics, but to activists of every hue everywhere.

    Courage, again, because they had to take on the big guns, male guns, of geography. (And thank you, so much, fellow geographers and economists for coming on this site and affirming that there is not just one route to radicalism.) From my position, moving backwards and forwards between Africa and Europe, I could not see the relevance of a poststructuralist, feminist epistemology. Helen Smith would send me the manuscripts but my world had nothing to do with what the Gibson-Graham world would become. Courage, again, because, as I attended the Annual Association of American Geographers’ Conference, I recognized that there was an increasing vocal group that acknowledged a Gibson-Graham leadership, especially the young looking for a political purpose, even if those packed sessions were shunned by some radicals. I directly asked last year why Gibson-Graham did not write Walden: A Life in the Woods for the 21st Century. If looks could kill.

    But what courage. For me, her prognosis is tied in my memory to Helen’s death. I remember Julie talking of the future with fortitude. Real courage is about making choices in the face of adversity. She bravely chose one of the two partial solutions: she chose to speak properly not eat properly. That was courage for herself and us. That was courage for you.

    She was no goddess and she could generously mix it: she could also be extraordinarily ordinary. She was a human, and humane geographer, who wanted more than a Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm” but wanted to write a code about doing good. In her life, she ran a cycle of inquiry that, from where I sit, brought her back to where she started when I first met her some 30 years ago. To a committed radicalism, global yes, but practiced in the Valley, Amherst, Shutesbury and Colleyville. With Kath and others. As we say in Newcastle, “Gan cannie, Bonnie Lassie”.

    I can not make the potluck on Sunday. But if you see a ghost in blue suede shoes, maybe with a guitar, on the back porch of her house, smoking and whiskey in hand (“PhilIP”), you will know that I was there.

    There maybe 50 ways to leave a lover. One of the best ways is if there is no-one else involved, if you have both concluded that what you have shared can never be taken away but that, gently, you must walk separate paths to grow. On an early September Thursday, in 1979, Julie and myself left the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Frascati, Stockholm, and cycled down the hill to the small lake. We hugged and kissed goodbye. Then she cycled off waving to a future life of other loves and laughter, of writing and arguments, of political engagement. The night before, as we celebrated over dinner what we had done together, she asked for a song, an old Irish song of parting. Think of her singing this to you.

    Of all the money that ere I spent,
    I spent it on good company.
    And all the harm that ere I done
    Alas it was to none but me.
    And since it falls unto my lot
    That I should rise and you should not,
    I’ll gently rise and softly call
    Good night and God be with you all.

  98. I only had the opportunity to read Julie’s work. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet the person. However, her work always spoke to me about the person that all the comments here are describing. I wish her a peaceful rest.

  99. For the record, I’m grateful for Julie’s love and friendship. Thinking of you Kathie.

  100. Affrica Taylor

    I knew Julie through Kathie as a collaborator – forging positive new ways of thinking, writing and living. But above all, I saw her (and Kathie) as pioneering new kinds of relationships. She was (they are) an inspiration.

  101. Maureen Mulderig

    julie sat to mark’s left at our meditation group every tuesday for two months this winter. i grew accoustumed to her breath, noticed her arrive late if she did, sat facing her watching her as we shared expereinces, listened to one another as we all learned how to listen and trust our hearts. the back of our hearts. there it is dark and wide and infinite. scary. i have a tightness there when i meditate, breath. i listened to julie express her journey throught this practice, hear her speak of a work place a work life i knew nothing of until encountering this website, until hearing of her death just today. i am awed that she is gone, this beautiful, angelic stranger as she was angelic in her giving of incredible insight to my practice at our sitting group, and then in an hour be gone, as i would return home so would she. we knew nothing of one another but the one of the most vulnerable angles into who we are that we can express, through this practice of sitting with Mark Hart’s group here in Amherst. I am young and encountered death few times. I am sad to not have been there today at her memorial. to have seen all the people connected to her would have helped me understand her passing perhaps.

    julie
    the last time we spoke, after class, we stood on the steps in the night. i stopped you to hug you to thank you for your presence as you had sung some songs very much in need for me to hear. you thanked me likewise, we parted. i loved you. i looked forward to seeing you in the beginning of the following class and went the first time but you weren’t there. i brought my brother and on our short walk there grew excited to see you, describing you to him among the others i have grown fond of.

    i walked along a river today, i ran up a hill. i took endless cat naps, i grew still i grew still as the sun turned away my hands grew cold. they are cold now so still. to me you are always that stranger, that angel appearing, letting me cross the street as you would, holding each door wide open for me to pass through. you are ahead of me, you sit with me as i sit here
    in the back of my heart.
    in the back of our heart. your are in this place, empty, wide, worldly, invincible.

    love,
    mo.

  102. The Community Economies Collective is a group of researchers and activists inspired by the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham. We are students, colleagues, and friends contributing to community economies in a host of locations around the globe. We work with people involved in projects such as worker owned cooperatives (e.g. Collective Copies here in Amherst, Empower in Worcester, and the Oklahoma Food Coop), Community Supported Agriculture and Fisheries (in the Pioneer Valley, Australia, and Northeast fishing ports), and urban farming and community gardens (in the Philippines and elsewhere). In addition, we are busy rethinking and remapping economic landscapes as diverse and open to possibility (and are finding such diversity in households, rural villages, and urban environments in New York, Moscow, Philadelphia, Indonesia, etc. etc.).

    In all these examples our goal is to help bring into being ‘community economies,’ ethical and political spaces where people’s decisions shape the economy and where community wellbeing can be prioritized.

    Julie was much more than a founding and key member of the collective. Her work, along with Kathie’s, is the inspiration and guiding force behind all our projects, our insights and achievements, our participation in and with communities, and, we are confident, our work to come.

    As an encouraging mentor to many of us and model for all of us, Julie showed us that working together, rather than being a liability, made each of our works stronger. In addition, she made it clear that academic work could be transformed by situating it within a nurturing and cooperative space where flows of affection are as productive and important as flows of knowledge. Collaboration and collective membership, we have learned, help us bring possibility to light, in ways that are hard, if not impossible, to do in isolation. By highlighting what we create as academics as co-produced, as Julie did so effectively with Kath and others, we are also situating ourselves in the collaborative world that we would like to inhabit.

    It is difficult to imagine the collective without Julie, without her consistent and well-timed encouragement, her ongoing efforts to bind us together as a collective, her organization of events where we learn so much from each other, and her insistent focus on what is possible – the possibilities in each one of us and in all communities to foster wellbeing.

    But if the work of J.K. has taught us anything, it is to be alert to the existence of possibilities even in what seems the darkest of times.

    We therefore know that our work, Julie’s work, will go on. Indeed, inspired and nurtured by Julie our collective project continues to grow with:

    New (and emerging) Participatory and Community based research projects — Such as, Maliha and friends’ diverse economies project in New Jersey – the Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative Mapping Project; Sarah’s work in Brisbane’s West End on a variety of community enterprise and participatory research projects; or Ethan and Olivia’s plans for a collaborative project focused on alternative regional development in the Northeastern US.

    Various Writing Projects that include — An edited volume on Performing Diverse Economies that Gerda and Kevin are pulling together; a book entitled Taking Back the Economy by Kathie, Stephen, and Jenny; Janelle, Michael, Adam, and Karen’s book on worker co-ops in the Pioneer Valley; and Kathie, Julie and Gerda’s recent work to extend our collective to the more-than-human world, to the plants, animals, and landscapes with whom we share this world.

    A host of student theses projects such as those by — Janelle, Ted, Kelly, Ann, Nate, Eric, Sean, Ethan, Leo, Abby, Sarah, and others…

    And ongoing organization and outreach efforts such as — a visual map of the collective, that shows where we are located and the kinds of work we do; updating and expanding our Community Economies website; and organizing at conferences and other events in order to encourage others to join us in Julie’s work.

    In sum, we will all continue to research, write, teach, mentor, and organize, in ways inspired by Julie. Our hope is that we can contribute to changing the world for the better… as Julie has so clearly done.

    In our work and collective efforts we will dearly miss Julie’s contribution but we will continue to be guided and inspired by her example. And in our hearts we will never forget her generous and loving spirit; her laughter and smiles; her reference to us as “sweeties” and “honeys”; her “Kath” (said with a strong US accent); and her endless capacity for hope and joy.

    With all our love and gratitude,
    The Community Economies Collective

  103. I have only just learned that Julie has passed away. It’s only ten weeks since we saw her, here in Bondi in Sydney, and with Kathie and David we all had a wonderful day. She clearly had trouble breathing, but was otherwise in good spirits, with her sense of humour intact. She and Kathie talked about their work on ethics for the Anthropocene and John and I about ours on the history of the Anthropocene, and it was like being back at ANU, which is where I met Julie. I especially remember Julie’s deliciously witty way of dealing with irrelevant questions in seminars, and the intellectual energy she brought to ANU each visit.

    So, goodbye Julie, you will be much missed here. I am so pleased I knew you and wish I had known you better.

    Ann

  104. Julie was a customer of mine for many years and she exuded love every time she smiled (which was always). I looked forward to seeing her at ther meditation class we both attended (she more regularly than I).
    I will miss her smile and positivity and hope she has found eternal peace!

  105. Sherrill Harbison

    I want especially to thank Phil O’Keefe for his insights and knowledge of Julie and his willingness to share them.
    I feel bereft and stunned like everyone, and also regretful. I missed yesterday’s celebration due to complications of my own illnesses–one big regret. The challenges of illness is one of the things we shared, but that I knew so little about her professional life is another big regret. We knew each other from yoga class. We mostly communicated with hugs.
    I remember vividly her devastation when she learned that surgery to repair her throat was not possible, and that she would never be able to swallow again. In her anguish, she was able to rationalize, “it’s learning to live with a disability!” I did not, and do not, know that I would have such courage or even such a desire.
    Julie’s physical presence was as beautiful as it was inspirational, and it is confirmed by all of you that her soul was a perfect match. Godspeed.

  106. Diana Liverman

    Reading all these amazing comments and sensing the sadness makes it hard to post something as I was not a close friend of Julie’s. I have known her a long time though – I met her when I was considering doing a PhD at Clark in the late 1970s and always enjoyed seeing her talk and passing a few moments with her at the AAG.

    She and Kathie spent their last few days together in my house in Tucson (I was away) so I have been thinking a lot about her and want Kathie to know my thoughts are with her. I know they enjoyed being in the house in the warmth of an Arizona spring and that their visit here was happy and very much enjoyed by everyone in the School of Geography here.

  107. I was very distressed to hear of Julie’s untimely death. I will remember her as a very positive, supportive and warm-hearted individual and an inspiring intellectual. I know that her work on diverse economies has influenced many, many people, both inside and outside economic geography. Whilst I have been familiar with, and admired from a critical distance, Julie’s work for a number of years, it is only in the past five or so years that I have drawn directly from it in my own limited writings on alternative economic and political spaces. In fact, the news of Julie’s passing came within a week of being in correspondence with her about a book I am co-editing (with Roger Lee and the late Duncan Fuller), entitled Interrogating Alterity. Julie and her writing partner Kathie have kindly written a endorsement of the book, which aptly encapsulated the spirit and scope of the project. Julie also commented in depth on my own chapter, and was able to point out a number of errors and differences of interpretation in a critically engaging and positive fashion, for which I am very, very grateful. Julie’s work will live long and will continue to influence successive generations of academics, activists and economic practitioniers, of that I am sure.

  108. Bernadette and Nick Hince

    Julie, you were a sunny inspiration to all, even those you seldom saw (like us). We are sending our love and thoughts to Kathie, who is also such a talented, inspiring and loving person.

    Bernadette and Nick, Canberra

  109. I am very very sad to hear about Julie’s death. In line with many people who grew up in the ideological landscape of the left, I never really ‘got’ the JK-GG project. This all changed when Julie came to visit Queen Mary a few years ago. It was love at first lunching for me.
    Meeting Julie made me realise that it wasn’t just about the words on the page – she had a political project and wanted to change the world – you could feel her love of life and ideas. Thanks to all those who made her what she became.

  110. Like some of you who have already left comments I have some parting memories of Julie from time spent with her, Katherine, David and JK for supervision sessions at Picnic Point February and March this year. These include watching the Australian Open tennis amidst Julie’s animated ‘Go Rog’ said in her accent. On the sideline we caught a rat running across the floor of K and D’s recently built house. Julie put my mind at rest about its running to and fro. This irrational behaviour was an indication it was a baby and hadn’t learnt to fear humans yet. As I drifted off to sleep later I suddenly sat up alarmed and called out to the house ‘I think the rat has just run up my arm’. They all came running from their beds. Funny to think of it now but then of course I was a bit embarrassed to have dragged my friends but equally my greatest teacher and mentor ‘JK’ from her bed. The next morning we discovered I had been lying in the rat trail as it made its way to the fruit bowl to nibble a pear…so I hadn’t imagined it!

    Julie and Katherine had together with Gerda and others begun to consider more carefully the question of how we engage with the non human. In the everyday at Picnic Point this involved not only the rats, which I think have moved on now, but also the mysterious bird sound that is actually human? Is it an alarm or a phone ringing or perhaps a bird imitating a human generated sound? K discussed this with me at length but I think the jury is still out. Perhaps Deb and Peter have worked it out? I’m not sure JK were unified on hearing this call. I have a feeling K can hear it but J couldn’t?

    There were also those beautiful riverside walks, which Julie continued to do despite the increasing challenges of breathing. I recall her telling Katherine and I when we met her on the flat part of the walk, that a man had walked by and said ‘hello gorgeous’ to her. Julie said that she hardly qualified as gorgeous… perhaps in that moment that she was confronted by her own mortality and the limits of humanness.

    I feel so very privileged to have walked the journey alongside JK Gibson-Graham these past 9 years in project support work and my own research under her tutelage.
    My way of thinking and seeing the world; heightened consciousness about the kind of research interventions I wish to make and my understanding of the performative aspects of research continues to be shaped and inspired by JKGG above all else. Like many posting here I am eternally grateful to all that she taught me.

    I miss you Julie. I wish you wellness and wholeness and a well-deserved rest.

    I miss you too Katherine and wish you well as you come to terms with the loss of this great friend and this part of your own academic voice. I look forward to seeing you again soon and to continuing in all the work you inspire me to do. May there be many more exciting work projects to come.

    Love Ann

  111. I first met Julie as an undergrad at UMASS. We had an immediate connection. I couldn’t decide if she was motherly, as if a sister or simply a smart friend. So I thought it best to consider her all of these and more.
    I will never forget the wonderful energy and grace Julie brought to her classes. She gave many smiles and cracked jokes, but would not be mistaken for a woman that deserved anything but full attention- you simply didn’t want to miss something.

    She gave me a grade – lower than I was used to – and backed it up with an actual explaination. This was so foreign to me that I had to do more work with her. Independent studies. After a wonderful walk through the wilderness of academia I had a taste of what it meant to look through the eyes of Julie. What a gift: To be able to recognize the world as accurately as she did and in spite of, perhaps due to its imperfections, still love it.

    I will certainly miss you Julie,
    your humbled appreciative student – Michael

  112. Katharine McKinnon

    I didn’t have the chance to get to know Julie nearly as well as I would have liked, but the time I did spend with her left a lasting impression. It seemed to me that she managed to be so joyful and so positive, so zen, while also being such a critical thinker and a sharp wit – it opened my eyes to a whole new way of being in which a powerful intellectualism is also loving and openhearted. The incredible partnership between Julie and Kathie has been such an important part of my learning about how to be a scholar – in particular the beautiful example they have given all of us about how to think and speak and work together, with the together being the most important part of that.
    Kathie, my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine what you are going through but please know we are thinking of you. Happy to come by with hugs anytime.

    With much much love,
    katharine

  113. Thank you for setting up this website, for sharing the news (though very sad), and the pictures. The photos of Julie express so well her enthusiasm and warmth. Her economic geography class was my first class at UMASS, after a 7-year hiatus from academia. It was truly inspiring (dependency! means of production!), and she was a wonderful teacher. I remember well her support for grad student(!) labor organizing and many other education and political movements in Massachusetts.

    My deepest sympathies to all her friends and colleagues.
    Gregg

  114. Yvonne Underhill-Sem

    I am so deeply sad to hear this news.
    Julie was incredible in so many ways and I treasure the brief but meaningful encounters we had. My heart goes out to her dearly loved closest friends and family for whom the loss must seem insurmountable just now – and yet they have had the greatest gift of being able to share Julie’s life. Julie has joined the realm of our treasured ancestors and will not be forgotton.

    With my sincerest sympathies

    Yvonne
    Aotearoa

  115. I read this poem at the memorial gathering at Julie’s house on April 10. It was written by a 13th-century poet named Rumi. It’s a poem that Julie especially liked. She wanted to read it, and to memorize it, while we were waiting for one of her medical appointments at the hospital. I think it captures something about Julie’s spirit very well.

    THE GUEST HOUSE

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    From The Essential Rumi: New Expanded Edition, translated by Coleman Barks (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 109.

  116. Pingback: vitia » Blog Archive » Julie Graham Remembered

  117. Julie was a wonderful, generous, brilliant, warm, and hopeful mentor. I remember the sunlight in her office, and her laugh. She opened up so much possibility for my own scholarly work, and I know her work and her life have and will continue to have so much important influence — I thought she’d always be around. She is, and will be.

  118. I met Julie when I served as editorial assistant for RM a few years ago. She was always so generous, kind, encouraging, and so many more amazing things to me. Ironically, I only knew her through email (me being in the midwest for grad school and her being on the east coast and all over the world with her research). But she made a remarkable impact on me personally as well as intellectually. I just saw the obituary today and broke down. But, my greatest condolences go to those family, friends, and colleagues who knew her better and longer….

  119. Julie Graham recognized and understood the mundane in the remarkable and the remarkable in the mundane. The practical and political insights that this understanding enabled – allied to her wonderfully joyous and inclusive engagements with others – meant that she left the world a much better place. But she left it far far too soon.

  120. I would have liked to be a part of a gathering and remember Julie in the comfort of company. I suppose this virtual coming together has to suffice given that I am miles and miles away. My deepest regret is that my abrupt departure from Amherst did not give me the chance to say goodbye to her.
    I have, over the past fortnight remembered many things about her, including the wild laughter and the many many salads made and consumed in her kitchen. I think I have been fortunate to know someone who has had the drive and brilliance to manifest, through her work, all that she believed in. She gave me the courage to say the things I want to say and validated thoughts that I was afraid to think. Apart from that, she made me realize that graduate seminars can be heady and fun. She was always open to new ideas and thoughts (rubbing her hands she would say..’now isn’t that interesting’) .
    I know you are there in the yellow spring crocuses and buds on the maples, and on the new mango leaves and in the warm summer rain here in my home town. My deepest thanks to you Julie, for giving me the chance to know you.

  121. I am impossibly saddened to learn of Julie’s passing—it’s an enormous shock to me as we’ve been in fairly regular communication over this last year. And with that Julie had been giving me, what we jokingly referred to as “unsolicited advise,” which was always realistic, supportive and lovingly delivered and certainly very much appreciated. And although Julie was my friend, Julie was often motherly to me and I have struggled over the years, as I do now, knowing that I was her wayward one. And that I kept a distance between us that can’t be undone. But she never put me down for it and never expressed bitterness but continued to root for my success.

    Now that I’ve returned to academia and our shared loved of theory, I return more formally to the politics of generosity that I first learned in Julie’s undergraduate Economic Geography course—which was so distinct and inspiring that I went out and read The End of Capitalism and interviewed Julie for a final project for what was actually another class. What I discovered then has remained true through the subsequent 7 years I knew Julie, that is that she lived a life that very much reflected her politics—something as unusual as it is admirable.

    I am so grateful to have known Julie and to have benefited from her politics, guidance and friendship. What an amazing life she led, what inspiring work—to find the collective strength and kind acts of giving in marginalized communities, to make note of the invisible, invaluable contributions of women and caregivers and to help facilitate their empowerment.

    I’m coming to think over these last few days since I learned of her passing, that the only way to deal with the enormity of loss that Julie’s passing leaves is to take up the work that Julie herself performed, that is, to find and nurture the good in people.

    I love you Julie. Thank you.

  122. A common friend has shared with me the sad news. I haven’t seen July since the early 1990, when I came back to Peru, but somehow we continued to stay in touch during these years. I always felt she made a difference at UMASS as a bright and affectionate person, with a natural and spontaneous kindness, of a type we don’t usually find nowadays. Her passing is such a loss, and reading your comments I realize how much she inspired and changed our lives. Te queremos mucho July.

  123. Like many others on this list, I never got to meet Julie, and am familiar with her only through her collaborative work with Kathie Gibson. I find their work to be inspiring, unique, and fundamentally constructive and transformative–a true rarity in an academic environment that is so saturated with endless and usually insipid critique, “provocation,” etc. Her contribution to a variety of disciplines will be deeply missed.

  124. I have only learned of this sad event when showing a friend the Rethinking Marxism website a few hours ago. I saw Julie for the first time in ten years last year when I attended the Rethinking Marxism conference at UMass-Amherst and I didn’t get much of a chance to speak with her as when I saw here there she was having problems breathing and had to rush off to get something to relieve those symptoms. I’m not sure what I would have said then, but I will always remember from my years in Massachusetts Julie’s kindness and intellectual generosity, as well as her intellect. Please pass on my sympathies and condolences to her family, Kathie, her friends and all those associated with the Pioneer Valley project and Rethinking Marxism. Thanks for your words Jack. Events like this make me glad that I was able to take time last year to chat with you.

  125. Julie was my sister-in-law and a great support when my mother died of cancer in 1992. She hosted my father at her home while he grieved. Julie was a part of my family for a number of years and will be missed by everyone.

  126. I worked very closely with Julie during my final year of college and had the genuine privilege of sitting with her in her office a few hours a week, learning to think more wisely. Julie encouraged intellectual rigor as much only as she did generosity.

    I had not spoken with her in 4 years but I still thought of her as my friend and today, on this news, my heart is broken open. I have known very few people in academia whose spirit and mind inspired so many all over the world in the ways hers did and will continue to.

    Her thinking was simply brave. I return to it often and always will.

    Julie you will be missed fiercely by so many. Thank you many times over.

  127. It is so sad that it took me one year to find out that Professor Graham had passed away. I had her as a student back in winter of 2007 when I took an economic geography course. Back then I was quite callow to the university enviornment and the topic of economics and found her and the class very challanging. However I have grown since then and have a new found respect for the late Professor Graham. May you rest in peace !

  128. I remember Julie very well. I first met her when I was a sophomore at Umass in 2001. One of the first classes I had with her was human landscape and society. I can remember sitting in her class on September 11th, 2001. A day which I will never forget and a teacher who had a lasting impact on me as much as that day did. She was an amazing woman and her passing is felt nation wide from students and faculty. Her memory will live on from everyone she touched. I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Julie. My condolences go out to her friends and family….

  129. I think a good remembrance would be Professor Graham’s works. I’m a Chinese student and was directed here because of her project community economies and her writings on related fields which I found online. Sad finding out the news of Professor Graham’s pass. Thank you for your words Jack. May you rest in peace, Professor Graham.

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