Connie and I go back more than 50 years. I took my very first course in anthropology from her as a freshman at NYU and she later agreed to be my faculty advisor. I took courses from only two other cultural anthropologists as an undergraduate: Elliot Skinner and John Landgraf. Connie was the lone female faculty member in the Department—a very early role model for students like me.
I did an independent study paper with Connie in my senior year. But I simply can’t bring to mind the topic I wrote on! What I do recall is that I received a B+ for the paper, until then my only anthropology course grade that was not an A. Connie’s comment explained the disappointing grade. It was because the paper did not have enough “political analysis,” a critique which captures Connie’s long and intense interest in the political arena.
Another memory: I heard about my acceptance to Columbia’s graduate program in anthropology while I was helping Connie grade papers at her apartment on Riverside Drive late in my senior year at NYU. My father called me there; he had opened the acceptance letter. When Connie’s late husband Sam, a psychologist, heard the news about the nascent anthropologist in his midst, he said with tongue in cheek something to the effect of, “There goes another one down the drain.”
The last time I saw Connie was four or five years ago at the AAA meetings. She looked wonderful—tall, thin and as stylish as ever with her long dangly earrings! I know she will be missed.
Maxine L. Margolis
BA in Anthropology, New York University, 1964
PhD in Anthropology, Columbia University, 1970