Remembering Billie Jean Isbell

The University of Illinois Press joins family and colleagues of Billie Jean Isbell, Professor Emerita at Cornell University, in mourning her passing on June 26. Her novel, Finding Cholita, a fictionalized ethnography exploring the long-term effects of chronic violence in the Ayacucho region, was published by Illinois in the series Interpretations of Culture in the New Millennium and was awarded honorable mention for the Victor Turner prize from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology in 2009. Series editor Norm Whitten shared: “Our long-time mutual colleague, Catherine (Kitty) Wagner, aptly summarizes Billie Jean’s extended career as ‘a consummate ethnographer and preeminent figure in Andean studies.’ It was my great privilege to be able to work closely with Billie Jean as she developed the successful experimental ethnograpy Finding Cholita when I edited the series.”

—Laurie Matheson, Director