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Catherine Julien
May 19, 1950 May 27, 2011

Catherine Jean Julien, 61, passed away at Emanuel Medical Center, Turlock, on May 27. The oldest of five children of Dr. Robert and Mrs. Jean Julien, she was born May 19, 1950 at Stanford Medical Hospital. Catherine Julien was a working archaeologist and ethnohistorian.

After completing high school in Turlock, Catherine attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. After two years there she transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her education: B.A. 1971, M.A. 1975, and Ph.D. in 1978. All of her degrees were in Anthropology and her doctoral dissertation explored Inca rule in the Lake Titicaca region.

After her graduation she carried out archaeological research in Peru, and archival research in South America (mostly in Peru), Spain and Germany. She taught at the University of Bonn between 1989 and 1995, with time away to pursue research elsewhere, and joined the Department of History at Western Michigan University in 1996.

Catherine was a prolific scholar. She wrote 10 books, another is to appear in the near future in Peru and yet another, a multi-volume work on Spanish explorer and writer Cabeza de Vaca, will be brought to completion by Dr. Pablo Pastrana. She published 14 articles in leading journals in her field, contributed 22 chapters to important edited collections and almost two dozen more popular publications. She has also presented nearly 100 scholarly papers at conferences, many as invited or keynote speaker. Her publications focused on understanding the ways by which the Inca managed their empire.

Her work, published in English, Italian, German and Spanish, has been recognized for its contributions to the field of Andean Studies and supported by major funding institutions in Britain, Germany and the United States. She won no less than 14 national and international grants and fellowships including a grant from the National Academy in Britain, a Humboldt Fellowship, numerous National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, two Fulbright Fellowships and a coveted Guggenheim Fellowship. Catherine’s 2000 publication, “Reading Inca History,” was awarded the Modern Language Association's Katherine Singer Kovacs prize and the Ermine-Wheeler Voeglin prize from the American Society for Ethnohistory.

She leaves behind a daughter, Clara Julien; her father, Dr. Robert Julien; brothers, Eric (Becky) Julien and Matthew (Becca) Julien; sisters, Ellen (Al) Bracamonte and Sarah (Shawn) Anderson; and many nieces and nephews.  Her mother, Jean Julien, preceded her in death.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made out in her name to Merced County Historical Society, 21st and N Streets, Merced, CA 95340.

A graveside memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 at Turlock Memorial Park, and is open to those who would like to attend.  Please share your memories and condolences at