Passings: Professor Emerita Marilyn Silverman

A candle
Marilyn Silverman in her early days
Marilyn Silverman, an image from her early years

Professor Emerita Marilyn Silverman, a long-standing member of the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University, died on Tuesday, June 18 at her home in Montreal.

Prof. Silverman died after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. As a professor, she was fundamental in shaping the Department of Anthropology to its present position as one of the preeminent departments in Canada.

She joined the Department of Anthropology in 1971 as a young lecturer and from 1996 until her retirement she was a full professor. An outstanding undergraduate lecturer and teacher, she was also a superb seminar director and a rigorous yet devoted supervisor at the graduate level.

Silverman’s early field research was conducted in Guyana and Ecuador and her later field research was conducted in Ireland with her partner and departmental colleague at York, Philip Gulliver, who predeceased her last year. She won national and international recognition for the quality of her extensive publications.

Silverman will also be remembered for her long-standing University-wide service, in particular for her active and effective service as a member of the York University Faculty Association, and as a founding member and early co-ordinator of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies program.

A longer obituary on her professional career as an anthropologist will be published later, on the Canadian Anthropology Society website. A celebration of her life will take place in Toronto later this year.