It was such a gift to be one of Sally’s students. We, her students, benefitted not only from her years of leading the field and the many connections she had built during that time, but also from her incredible kindness and generosity. During my first week at NYU, she sent me an email to forward me two articles that she’d recently seen that were relevant to my intended plan of research – I was thankful that she’d taken the time to write to me, knowing how busy she was. She would become my committee chair some time after.
What I appreciated most about Sally’s approach was that she always established us in conversation as interlocutors to learn from, asking what we thought about a particular problem or piece of our anthropological puzzle of the moment, supporting us with the confidence that we could do this – something that can sometimes feel far away in the world of being a graduate student. I loved being one of her teaching assistants and research assistants; it was a great privilege to be able to support her and learn from her craft. She was always available to answer every question, read and give comments, take time to meet, or just offer some needed encouragement.
As I read the beautiful memorial notes written for Sally in the days since her passing, I am moved by accounts of what I also recognize in having been her student – her singular selflessness and the ease and consistency by which she put others first. Her contributions to the fields of legal anthropology, feminist anthropology, and human rights scholarship are of course her tangible legacy, but her wonderful support of her students and colleagues lives on too in the kindness we learned from her and the example she set for us every day. Thank you so much dear Sally. You are so deeply missed.