In Memoriam

September 8, 2020

Sally Engle Merry, PhD 78, passed away on 8 September 2020. Sally was Julius Silver Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She taught courses on human rights, gender, and legal anthropology, and co-taught the IILJ Colloquium on Infrastructure, Rights and Regulation. She was one of the Principal Investigators in the IILJ project on Indicators, and in the new project on Infrastructure as Regulation.

A giant in the fields of legal anthropology, human rights, and gender violence, Sally’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 went on to earn 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. 

May 30, 2019

Charles A. Ziegler, PhD ‘83, Brandeis University Senior Research Scholar, passed away on Sunday May 26, 2019.  Charles was a brilliant scientist and a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution for his demonstration of exceptional scholarship capacity and creative ability in the arts. Additionally, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in science from 1989-1991. As a Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University, Ziegler lectured on social organization in industrial settings and the relationship between sciences, technology and other elements of culture. A prolific writer, Charles published widely on modern technical intelligence and institutionalization of America's nuclear detection system among other areas. He co-authored UFO Crash at Roswell:  The Genesis of a Modern Myth with Professor Emeritus Benson Saler and Spying Without Spies: Origins of America’s Secret Nuclear Surveillance System (1995) with Professor Emeritus David Jacobson. Ziegler and Jacobson also co-authored “How Big is Kiriwina” (Mankind, 1984); "Popular Delusions and Scientific Beliefs: Conflicting Belief Systems of Scientists and Administrators in the Creation of a Covert Technological Surveillance System” (Naked Science 1996); and "Insider and Outsider Perspectives in the Anthropology of Science" (Perspectives on Science, 1998).  Charles was also the owner of six patents dealing with alpha rays, x-ray emission and scattered rays, all before our society's current understanding.

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David Kaplan, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Brandeis University, passed away December 12, 2012 in Wayland, Mass. at the age of 83 after a 5 year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Union City New Jersey on May 8, 1929. He received his BA, MA and PhD (1960) degrees in anthropology from the University of Michigan. His doctoral field work was done in Mexico. He taught at the University of Oklahoma for two years (1959-1961) and then was at Brandeis University for the rest of his career. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1966, and to Professor in 1972. He was awarded Emeritus status in 1996. Kaplan served as Chair of the Department twice, from 1971-1974, and again from 1979 to 1980. He served as Dean of the Graduate School from 1983 to 1990. He published articles on Mesoamerica. His major publications concerned theory in anthropology. His Brandeis colleague Robert A. Manners and he published Theory in Anthropology, A Sourcebook in 1968. This was followed by Kaplan and Manners, Culture Theory in 1972, a critical evaluation of major theories in anthropology. Culture Theory remained in print for decades and was widely used in anthropology courses in the United States and in other countries.

Kaplan's areas of specialty included method and theory, economic and political anthropology, and peasant culture of Mesoamerica. At Brandeis, Kaplan taught courses on the Nature of Human Nature and the Evolution of Political Economy, as well as graduate seminars in method and theory. He helped advise many PhD dissertations.

He is survived by Carol his wife of 55 years, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.