Newswise — EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two members of the Northwestern University faculty have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Deborah A. Cohen and Gary Alan Fine, both of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, are among the 213 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs elected to the academy this year for their pathbreaking work.

The new academy members are:

  • Deborah A. Cohen is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of the Humanities and Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in Weinberg College. She is a historian of modern Britain and Europe. Cohen is currently at work on a book (under contract to Random House) about American foreign correspondents who reported from interwar Europe and Asia. Her subjects include John and Frances Gunther, H.R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, Louis Fischer and Dorothy Thompson.
  • Gary Alan Fine is the James E. Johnson Professor of Sociology in Weinberg. He is a social psychologist who specializes in the sociology of culture, ethnographic research, social theory and collective behavior. Due out this summer, Fine’s new book, “Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in Art Education,” (University of Chicago Press) is an ethnographic analysis of contemporary MFA visual arts education. Fine argues that the emphasis on teaching technique has been replaced with the importance of theory, establishing a justification for the intention of the work, and creating an artistic identity.

Members of the 238th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences will be inducted at an October ceremony at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good.

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