HASTAC honors English professor emerita Julie Klein with memorial statement

HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) marked the recent passing of HASTAC co-founder and WSU Professor Julie Thompson Klein with a touching memorial statement.

Julie earned her B.A., M.A., D.A., and Ph.D. in English between 1967 and 1972 at the University of Oregon. She joined Wayne State as an assistant professor in 1970, where she earned tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1977-1978 and to full professor in 1989. In the academic year 2007-08, she joined the English Department after a long and successful career in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Wayne State. In addition to her role in the English department, Julie also served as a Fellow in the Office of Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Julie Thompson Klein and Bill Newell at the 2018 AIS Conference at WSU
Julie Thompson Klein and Bill Newell at the 2018 AIS Conference at WSU.

Julie held visiting professorships in various countries, including Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. She was also the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, at Wayne State, nationally, and internationally, for her work in interdisciplinarity and digital humanities. She was appointed as an expert for a variety of notable institutions, including the National Science Foundation and the National Center of Scientific Research in France. In 2019, Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal recognized Julie's contributions to the field with a special issue dedicated to her work.

The HASTAC statement, written by Cathy Davidson, Senior Advisor on Transformation to the Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY), says Julie will "be remembered for her tenacity on behalf of ideas, principles, and colleagues-especially younger scholars just beginning to get a foothold in the profession and, indeed, anyone who needed a supporting hand, comment, or smile."

Indeed, Julie is remembered by her colleagues at Wayne State as having an exquisite combination of intellectual generosity that belied her considerable contributions to her field, the department, and WSU. Caroline Maun, associate professor and chair of the English department, remembers Julie as an unfalteringly kind and steadfast colleague and friend who had a rich perspective on the academic enterprise.

We in the English department mourn her loss and take comfort in knowing so many share our grief in her passing and our gratitude for having been lucky enough to call her a colleague and a friend.

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