In Memoriam to Julie Thompson Klein, One of HASTAC’s CoFounders

Dear HASTAC’ers and other Friends, I just now read the news, via Bruce Janz, that the wonderful Julie Thompson Klein has died. A professor emerita at Wayne State University, where she taught for over thirty-six years, Julie was one of HASTAC’s early founders and a loyal and constant contributor. She was a scholar of interdisciplinary theory and practice, the author and co-author of many books and articles, and a constant presence at NSF as well as at conferences in the humanities, social sciences, technology, and the arts. She was such a magnificent and generous supporter of other scholars, professors, and students–and seemed to always have the time to give others a boost, especially young scholars or those suffering some setback in their careers. Her acuity as a thinker was matched by her tenderness. I’ve seen her over and over console, congratulate, and celebrate dozens of people in person and on social media. She was an incredible cheerleader for others, everywhere, and a networker par excellence.

Julie had polio as a child and, among the many causes that she championed so eloquently, she had many insights into disability scholarship and activism and was always attentive to accessibility of every kind.

From what Bruce has passed on, Julie died on January 15, 2023, after an “intense battle with cancer.” We’ve been given permission from her husband George Klein to pass on this information to all. There will be a celebration of her life at a later date–and so much to celebrate. And so much to mourn deeply. Speaking personally, I will miss you greatly, stalwart supporter and friend. Rest in peace.

Please note: Anyone wishing to honor Julie’s memory can contribute to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an organization that was very important to her.

2 responses to “In Memoriam to Julie Thompson Klein, One of HASTAC’s CoFounders”

  1. From the Wikipedia entry, here is a partial list of her books and articles. See also:

    Interdisciplinarity: History, Theory, and Practice. Wayne State University Press. 1990. ISBN 0-8143-2088-0.
    Crossing Boundaries: Knowledge, Disciplinarities, and Interdisciplinarities. University of Virginia Press. 1996. ISBN 978-0-8139-1679-8.
    Humanities, Culture, and Interdisciplinarity: The Changing American Academy. SUNY Press. 27 October 2005. ISBN 978-0-7914-6577-6.
    Creating Interdisciplinary Campus Cultures: A Model for Strength and Sustainability. John Wiley & Sons. 9 December 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-57315-0.
    Transdisciplinarity: Joint Problem Solving among Science, Technology, and Society: An Effective Way for Managing Complexity. (editor). Birkhäuser. 6 December 2012. ISBN 978-3-0348-8419-8.
    Interdisciplining Digital Humanities: Boundary Work in an Emerging Field. University of Michigan Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0-472-07254-5.


    “Interdisciplinarity and complexity: An evolving relationship.” structure 71 (1984): 72.
    “Blurring, cracking, and crossing: Permeation and the fracturing of discipline.” Knowledges: Historical and critical studies in disciplinarity (1993): 185-214.
    “Prospects for transdisciplinarity.” Futures 36.4 (2004): 515-526.
    “Integrative learning and interdisciplinary studies.” Peer Review 7, no. 4 (2005): 8-10.
    “A platform for a shared discourse of interdisciplinary education.” JSSE-Journal of Social Science Education 5, no. 4 (2006).
    “Afterword: the emergent literature on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research evaluation.” Research Evaluation 15, no. 1 (2006): 75-80.
    “Evaluation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research: a literature review.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 35, no. 2 (2008): S116-S123.

  2. I was saddened by the news of Julie’s passing. She was an amazing teacher who guided me through my graduate work. I will always remember her as a sensitive and skillful teacher who knew exactly how to coach excellence from her students. She was truly inspirational and I treasure my memories of having the honor of working with such an accomplished and gifted professional. She lives on through her own impressive body of work as well as the work of her humble students who were so enriched by her encouragement and guidance. Julie opened my mind and made me a better scholar and I will always be grateful for her generous contribution to me personally and her community at large. She will be missed.