Marida Hollos, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, passed away on April 11, following several years battling leukemia. She was a member of the Brown faculty for more than four decades, from 1974 until her retirement in 2015, and a PSTC associate since 1985.
Marida earned her PhD in Anthropology in 1970 at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1981, she completed an MPH in Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University's School of Public Health.
Two interrelated interests characterized Marida's research: human development in its social and cultural contexts and, later, anthropological demography. Her research ranged from children on farms in Norway to the Ijaw people of southern Nigeria to women experiencing infertility in northern Tanzania and Hungary. For the past two decades, she had focused increasingly on the relationship between the status of women and fertility. She shared her research broadly, writing more than fifty articles and book chapters and five books, including an anthropology textbook in Hungarian and an edited volume on the collectivization of peasant holdings. Her work was supported by the NSF, NIH, Fulbright, Mellon, the Ford Foundation, and others.
"Marida's commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship put her at the center of the PSTC. She didn't sit quietly in the back row," said PSTC Director Susan Short. "She challenged ideas and evidence, and advocated always for understanding how others see the world and make meaning in it."
From 2005-2010, Marida organized the Working Group on Anthropological Demography (WGAP). She served on many major University committees and received the President’s Award for Excellence and the Swearer Center for Public Service Award.
As Marida's office mate at the PSTC and neighbor in Anthropology, Associate Professor of Anthropology Jessaca Leinaweaver observed how Marida “supported students and how she was still doing research, writing grant applications, and analyzing and writing up data long after she formally retired. It's hard to imagine the PSTC and Anthropology without her,” she said.
Marida always made an effort to come to PSTC events even when she wasn’t feeling well, remembered Sue Silviera, the PSTC's Administrative and Financial Coordinator. "I was always happy to see her in the building,” she said.
Marida shared her own research at the colloquia series this past September, presenting "Now, Later, or Never: Childless or Child Free in Post-Socialist Hungary," based on her study of the conceptualization of children and its connection to fertility decisions.
"In addition to being an accomplished anthropologist, she was a caring colleague, a beloved mentor, and a friend to many," said Short. "We will miss Marida very much."
Photo: Marida conducted anthropological fieldwork in southern Nigeria for more than 25 years.