From the beginning of her research career Sally displayed an exemplary capacity for shaping research and writing projects that at the same time were theoretically and methodologically pathbreaking and spoke with real insight – and gravity – to key questions of social justice, policy, and institutional transformation. From her earliest work on perceptions of urban danger to her most recent exploration of indicators, metrics, and human rights regimes, and of their consequences for communities and individuals, Sally addressed significant contemporary issues with a remarkably attentive ethnographic eye and ear. She was committed to understanding and helping to change the world of policy and practice, and she drew upon sophisticated and wide-ranging research strategies towards those ends. Sally consistently demonstrated a keen sense for where the interpretively rich and revelatory sites, institutions, and practices lay – and how best to understand them, whether in district court clerks’ offices, UN bureaus, NGOs, or mediation sessions. Beyond this, her historical and anthropological scholarship on the cultural life of colonial and post-colonial law in Hawai’i and the Pacific was an exceptional contribution and has been central in shaping subsequent scholarship. It also exemplified Sally’s remarkable contributions to the complex and lively transdisciplinary tangle of law and society research, a major arena in which she had long been a catalyst. Sally was a truly global figure within and beyond the field. Her intelligence, energy, imagination, and analytic chops were extraordinary, as were the intellectual generosity and warmth that infuse her many collaborative projects. Sally was truly an exceptional and exceptionally humane scholar and colleague.
Beyond this, however, she was an extraordinarily engaged, effective, and accomplished scholarly citizen, both in Anthropology and the AAA and within the Law and Society Association. The offices she held, committees she chaired, and other organizational roles she took on made for a remarkable record. What was more significant, however, were the intelligence, organizational savvy, collegial openness, and capacity for leadership that imbued all of her institutional contributions. Her contributions to our collective scholarly life drew upon the same well-cultivated instinct for organizational analysis – and for really understanding the stakes, both individual and institutional, central to social process – that marked her scholarship. So too did her humane and appreciative sense of her colleagues, and of how to draw upon their better qualities. Sally was a key figure in the intellectual, public, and institutional life of Anthropology and Law and Society and was instrumental in shaping our course across these domains.
And she did this all with panache, generosity, and remarkable good humor. I happily remember working with her across multiple contexts: planning and then coordinating an SAR research seminar on post-colonial law in Fiji and Hawai’i, working through the challenging mysteries of the then incipient Anthrosource program, or, along with a few lively colleagues, moving yellow post-it notes around on butcher paper grids to schedule the AAA annual meetings (yes, some things were more loosely wired and artisanal back in the paleoterrific). Imaginative, resilient, and exceptionally energetic, Sally was always a delight to work with and to learn from. We will miss her informing presence – and friendship.