SoA Mourns Passing of De Vet

School of Anthropology faculty member Thérèse de Vet was born in Leiden in 1946 to Sophia Louisa Jacoba Koch, a French teacher, and, Huibert Arnoldus de Vet, a talented artist and forger, both active in the resistance to the Nazis. Thérèse’s education stretched from Leiden to Paris to Southern California. She studied literature at the Sorbonne 1964–1967 and received a B.A. magna cum laude in anthropology and linguistics at the University of Southern California in 1981. In 1997 she completed her doctorate in Classics at USC, and took up a fellowship at the University of Heidelberg. She became an assistant professor in Classics at the University of Arizona in 2000, later moving to Anthropology. From 2015 onward she divided her time between the University of Arizona and the honors college at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. An inspiring and well-loved teacher, she helped many students discover their passion for knowledge and learning and will be remembered for her scholarship, guidance, rigorous standards, great sense of humor, and kindness. Fluent in nine languages and equally at home in Anthropology, Classics, and Linguistics, she produced scholarship that tackled literacy and orality, the Homeric tradition, and the European intellectual tradition. Her most recent article examines the legacy of Marcel Mauss for scholars in France, England, and the United States. She is survived by her children, Claudia Lorena Sandoval and John Christopher Lansing, whom she home-schooled in a Balinese village; three grandchildren; and her husband, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Steve Lansing.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 18, at Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte; The event will begin at noon in the Performance Garden with music and remembrances of Thérèse from her family, friends, students, and colleagues and will be followed from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. by a reception in the Wilson Room. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Hermitage Cat Shelter. To donate online, please go to and indicate that your gift is in memory of Therese de Vet in the message box. There will also be envelopes at the service.