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[xmca] Leigh Star

If you have not heard this yet from other sources, I'm very sad to report the death Tuesday night of Susan Leigh Star, a friend of many years and a brilliant scholar in science and technology studies and much else.

She is survived by her husband and longtime collaborator, Geoff Bowker. Both had moved this academic year to the U of Pittsburgh from Santa Clara U, and before that UC San Diego and U of Illinois.

Leigh was a leader in information sciences scholarship, in the study of cultural classification and its political implications, in research on the role of material and semiotic infrastructures, and many other areas.

I personally am very sad now. Leigh was a wonderfully warm and supportive person, whom I've known since her Illinois days. I had once hoped to move to San Diego while Leigh and Geoff were still there so as to be able to collaborate intellectually and continue a warm friendship. Leigh's health had been less than robust off and on over the years for reasons unknown to me (and maybe to her). For a long time I've quietly worried about her and hoped she would regain and keep her full strength.

I think most of you must know of her famous work on "boundary objects", a concept which often serves to link CHAT perspectives with those of Latour's ANT. I believe she edited a special issue of MCA several years ago on the work of her original mentor, Anselm Strauss. If you have never read her work, I cannot recommend it too highly.

with sadness,


Jay Lemke
Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
Educational Studies
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Visiting Scholar
Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition
University of California -- San Diego
La Jolla, CA
USA 92093

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