Dr. Jean Anyon’s scholarship, mentorship, teaching, parenting, passion, love, and humor touched so many of us over the years. We are all shocked by her sudden passing. Many of her colleagues, students, and friends have expressed that they had more to say — that the conversations with Jean aren’t complete.

Please use this space as a place to share your thoughts — to strike up a dialogue with each other and her larger community in her honor. Her scholarship and the network of individuals she built will only continue to grow over time. Let’s stay connected, as we know she would have wanted.

Post your comments in the reply box below and if you have any images to share, please email them to forjeananyon@gmail.com and we will add them to this website.



22 thoughts on “About

  1. Cathy Borck

    Thank you for your strength, reading suggestions, humor, calm acceptance, feminist ethics, accessibility, notes, and sarcasm. You left an imprint on this world that will continue to touch minds and lives. Rest in power.

  2. emayorga

    I am writing from the the Urban Education student lounge at CUNY Graduate Center today (9/9/13) and am so glad to have had some time to come by to honor Jean Anyon. It has warmed my heart to be with dear friends and colleagues. I will be writing and posting more about Jean and my relationship with Jean over the last seven years.

    For now, my thoughts have been on remembering the little moments that I shared with Jean here in the student lounge. Specifically I was thinking about the emotional roller coaster it was to meet with Jean in her office. Even after several years of working with her I would still get a lump in my throat and my heart would be speeding along.

    “Will she like what I have to say?”

    “Am I making sense?”

    “Is she gonna hate it?”

    (having trouble breathing)


    And then I would actually go in…

    “So how are things, going?”

    “Good Jean, how are you?”

    “How’s Teo”

    “Good, getting big”

    “So how is the work?”

    (resume breathing and a more regular heart beat)

    Segue to a very thoughtful conversation and supportive feedback that connected theory, data, and action.

    Phew, breathing again, but heart beat getting faster.

    Now I am inspired and leaving feeling good.

    Flying high,

    Ready to move forward.

    We got this!


  3. Erika Bernabei

    what an incredible person, a genius and a scholar and a real person. always challenging, open and kind and honest.

    i am honored to have known just a bit of her personally – emails and some coffee and a class – but her work will always continue to inform mine forever. i remember being so afraid of being a fool in front of a woman i respected so much, but instead, we just spoke like humans.

    the only way to honor her is to continue to challenge power and transform the system.

    a true loss. my work is in her honor.

  4. Natalia Ortiz

    A Poem for Jean Anyon

    A generous heart,
    Challenging us to challenge her so that together we could challenge the status quo.
    We will always be grateful for your activism, courage, and hope,
    And how you always said, “what’s it doing out there?” upon entering class.
    You were open to difficult conversations,
    You were reflective and…
    You implemented change.
    Thank you Jean.
    For your amazing classes full of wisdom, laughter and inspirations.
    For opening our eyes to the intertwining of political agendas in creating educational policies.
    Thank you
    For the honesty, the support, and the very real commitment to justice.
    And lastly,
    Thank you for stoking that fire for justice that burns within each of us.
    We respect you, hoy y siempre.

    With Love from Cohort 12

  5. Victoria Restler

    It is such a rare and fortunate thing to get to meet and then know someone whose work and vision you so admire. For a year and a half I tried hard to impress Jean (salty language and scholarly references) until somewhere around Domhoff it dropped away. It’s a scary and profound thing to be real (unsteady and vulnerable) with a person who (or whom- jean would know and correct me) you so admire (as a thinker and doer and as a human). And it is an incredible gift (one of so so many) to be seen and held by her as you are. Thank you Jean. I love you.

  6. Sean McKenna

    Jean Anyon was a dear neighbor and friend. Her passing still hasn’t hit me really. I know that she was a wonderful teacher and scholar but I knew Jean as a neighbor and she was wonderful at that too. She raised a beautiful girl by herself and made every one of my days brighter. I will never forget our last breakfast together, we were so lucky to have it. I know she is still with me but selfishly, I can’t hug her anymore. Jean you are missed already and always close to our hearts. Love, Sean, Michael and Minnie.

  7. Rachel Lambert

    Oh Jean. I am really sad that you are gone, and that I am so far away in Los Angeles. Although I don’t have to deal with seeing your office door crammed with posters and stickers and appeals for justice, without you behind it. I am so glad to have gotten to know you as your student, because you made me feel comfortable, and valued, and loved. That is why I did not freak out when I almost gave birth in your Educational Policy class, and why I came to you for a place to pump milk for that baby, because I knew that you did not give a shit about you being an esteemed scholar, you would leave your office so I could have that privacy. And how you made me actually learn how to pronounce Bourdieu. By yelling at me. I will miss you Jean.

  8. miriam tager

    Jean, I am sorry I did not get to say goodbye. I am thinking of you a lot and thinking about my seven other cohort peeps that shared our research seminar several years ago. It was a wonderful place, full of love, hope and true friendship. Thank you Jean for giving me the opportunity to be present there among people I respected and looked up to. You are the reason I came to the Urban Ed. program and it really changed my life. I miss you already. love, Miriam

  9. Chris Johnson

    I’ve always been prone to make sweeping statements about politics or education – or where they intersect. Too often, those statements were too long on emotion and too short on research or evidence. Jean helped me believe there’s a way to get closer to my truth (not the truth) and still keep the fire in my belly. She will be missed so very much.

  10. Joan Greenbaum

    Jean–colleague, friend, mother, adviser, mentor, activist, organizer…an inspiring, warm, kind, caring human being who we were lucky enough to have amongst us. To say that she inspired, advised, organized, mentored, befriended, hundreds, if not thousands, is an understatement. Truly a remarkable woman, marked by insight and creative thought. We will miss her, endlessly
    Joan Greenbaum

  11. Andrea

    I first met Jean through her union activism at the Graduate Center. For three years, Jean was chair of the GC faculty chapter of the Professional Staff Congress. Her meetings were always open to all union members here, as was her office. I came to know Jean better as the years passed but during her time as chair she took great pride in leading us as we met and discussed all things related to our contract campaign. I recall her opening meetings not merely with go-around introductions but by sharing her passion for activism and unions because of the influence of her father. She spoke of her personal background and her commitment to social justice issues. We will all miss her greatly.

  12. Miguel Zavala

    I know of Jean through her writing and political work; her legacy lives, in my students who are now educators. Thank you Jean for not only shaping fields but for your keen political sense, always true to social justice and the oppressed. May your words and wisdom carry on generations to come, reaching the horizon of a world that is less ugly and less unjust.

    In Spirit Always.

  13. Argos Gonzalez

    I forget how many classes I took with Jean but I know it was at least 3 courses in the Graduate Center and in all of them she pushed me to learn and share what I’d learned.

    She was incredibly knowledgeable but did not intimidate you with her knowledge. As a matter of fact, she was always looking for new ideas and perspectives to broaden her own understanding, which encouraged you to share your insights. She motivated you and valued your comments even if she disagreed wholeheartedly.

    She always knew how to guide you with your own research and always had a book to recommend on the very topic you needed.

    She had a wonderful laugh and she wasn’t afraid to use it!

    She had a gravitational pull that you couldn’t help to fall into.

    Jean, I will miss you. Thank you for your insight and for giving it so freely.

  14. jill anyon

    Having only reconnected with my only first cousin and her beautiful and intelligent daughter in the last few years, i am so sorry we missed large parts of each others lives. I hope having the last few years to try to catch up
    Have given jessie and i the start we needed to carry your memory together. She is her mothers daughter for sure and i will be there for her as you would have jeanie. We will carry you in our hearts always, and your work will educate the future generations so their eyes can see as yours did for future societal change.. you were much loved..and i am proud that we were cousins. Much love in my heart for you and now for your daughter. I will look out for her in your absence. Jill anyon

  15. Deborah Jones

    I remember like yesterday reading, “Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum”. Only a high school freshman at the time, I was yet to completely understand the entirety and eventually embody the extent of Jean’s words. Ironically, I never forgot them. I remeber as a young academic repeating the results of her study to anyone who would listen, and assuring them I would do everything in my power to bridge the gaps. And now, almost ten years later, I find myself holding true to that promise. Today, I was working on the literature review for my Master’s thesis and I turned, as i often do, to my favorite authors Johnathon Kozol, John Gatto, and of course, Jean Anyon. Because I was unable to do so back then, my plan was to email Jean and thank her for the inadvertant yet profound effect she had on my professional and personal lives. Upon googling Professor Anyon, I found out she’d passed. Deepely saddened, I’m glad someone created this blog…in a way, I can still say thank you. May Her legacy live on through colleagues, students, and admirers.

  16. Ben Enoma

    Our Darling Jean we have been freewheeling aplenty, since you have been gone and these radical thoughts invade like kaleidoscopic shards: Marx ! The Frankfurt School! Wages! Occupy, Organize! Theorize! Foucault! Bourdieu! Gramsci’s Good sense!” Research! Ghetto Schools! Radical Possibilities! Red Diaper Baby!
    Mind in Abyss… Jean you left at sunset without a kiss. but we have got to keep CALM, shape policy, carry this Bucket… until we can kick it to others…

    A Citizen-pupil “Anyon’s Policy Atelier GC 5th Avenue.”

  17. Paul Ongtooguk

    Finally met Jean Anyon at AERA in San Francisco in 2013. I read “Social Class and School Knowledge”. It cast light on many aspects of my schooling as an Inupiat or Northern “Eskimo”.

    Today was a discussion for my Issues in Alaska Native Education course. I had asked the students to identify which kind of educational model most matched their own school experience. The comments, descriptions and reactions were rich with dimensions that caught their attention.To have more than one kind of education under the same school roof, the relationship of wealth to different kinds of public schooling in the same district, the ways in which moving to a different school disrupted the character of their education and much, much more.

    They almost all were skeptics about why they were assigned a reading about a study on the east coast back in the early 1980’s, when people wore colors not found in nature, for a class about Alaska Native education in Alaska. They find some of the language confusing and so we begin to dip into Critical Theory and the foot prints of it in various kinds of research. The reading provided a new lens about “shopping mall high schools”.

    They moved quickly to what this might mean for their own role as public school teachers and the difficulty was trying to keep the discussion as one for the whole class. Gramsci, Carnoy, Give or Take a Century by Senungetuk on schooling, along with many others are formed into a new platform for understanding and analysis of their own schooling.

    Jean Anyon was alive in my class today for my students. Quyanapuk (Thank you much)

    Paul Ongtooguk, a son of Tommy Ongtooguk
    Assistant Professor
    University of Alaska Anchorage


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