In Memoriam: Sally Merry

Sally Merry
Sally Merry

Sally Engle Merry, Julius Silver Professor of Anthropology at NYU and an affiliated faculty member at NYU Law, passed away on September 8, 2020. Merry taught or co-taught a range of courses at the Law School, including several on human rights and anthropology, and served as co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law and as director of NYU’s Law and Society Program. 

“Sally was a brilliant and influential scholar, a committed and talented teacher, and a beloved colleague,” Dean Trevor Morrison said in an email announcement, citing her scholarship in legal anthropology, human rights, and gender violence.

Merry’s passion for anthropology was born at Wellesley College, where she graduated in 1966 with high honors and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Yale University in 1967 and a doctorate from Brandeis University in 1978. She was awarded a Doctor of Law degree, honora causa, from McGill University in 2013.

Merry was a past president of the Law and Society Association, the American Ethnological Society, and the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology. In 2019, she was awarded the Franz Boas prize, the highest accolade bestowed by the American Anthropological Association. 

Posted September 10, 2020