Julie Graham Remembered

I took Julie Graham’s “Rethinking Economy” seminar in Fall 2003. I blogged a lot of that seminar: I had just started blogging as a way to help me move ahead on my dissertation, and Julie’s seminar pushed me in extraordinarily productive directions, as did later the scholarship she pointed me toward — hers and others’ — and her amazing mentorship. While Charlie Moran gave me the foundations, the direction, and the careful and rigorous criticism, and Donna LeCourt helped get me to figure out how it all fit together and pushed me both to integrate the sources I was drawing from and to go beyond mere integration, and kept me on track with her thorough and regular feedback and challenging questions, it was Julie who really showed me where my project could go in the remarkable balance of hope, rigor, and insight that she gave to that seminar and to all of us she worked with. I couldn’t be where I am today in my approach to the relationship between composition and economy without the spark that Julie lit. Earlier this year, she’d generously passed on advice and an article about Piero Sraffa and immaterial labor from a colleague after I’d asked her for guidance, now six years after I took her seminar and four years after she served as the outside reader on my dissertation committee. I’d thought her cancer was something she’d recovered from; thought her generosity, insight, warmth, guidance, and more than anything her hopefulness about the work that her scholarship imagined, made possible, and realized in the world — thought that these things would be there for a long time to come, and that they might go forward.

And, in a way, they will. She will be much missed.