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Historian Margot Fassler Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Margot E. Fassler '94 M.A.H., the Tangeman Professor of Music History with joint appointments at the Divinity School, the Institute of Sacred Music, the School of Music and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, was elected in April as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding leaders in their fields to the Academy," said Academy President Emilio Bizzi in announcing the 2007 class of fellows. "Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large."

Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members are nominated and elected to the Academy by current members. A broad-based membership, comprised of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business, gives the Academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.

Margot E. FasslerFassler is an historian who works primarily with the musical and liturgical traditions of the Latin Middle Ages and of the U.S.A. Her subspecialties are liturgical drama of the Middle Ages and Mariology. Her book Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris has received awards from both the American Musicological Society and the Medieval Academy of America. She has edited a volume on the divine office and has just completed a book on the cult of the Virgin Mary at Chartres. She is currently preparing a book on the twelfth-century theologian, exegete, and composer Hildegard of Bingen. Psalms in Community , which she co-edited, is being reprinted by the Society of Biblical Literature. Under the auspices of a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., Fassler continues to work with congregations and practitioners to make videos of sacred music in its liturgical contexts. Her most recent film is Joyful Noise: Psalms in Community .

Fassler earned a Ph.D. in medieval studies, with a specialization in music history, from Cornell University. She holds an M.A. in music history from Syracuse University. Fassler earned her B.A. in secondary education from the State University of New York. She has also taught at Cornell University, Mills College and Brandeis University.

"Throughout its history, the Academy has convened the leading thinkers of the day, from diverse perspectives, to participate in projects and studies that advance the public good," said Academy Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz. "I am confident that this distinguished class of new Fellows will continue that tradition of cherishing knowledge and shaping the future."

Among the other 202 fellows in the 2007 class are former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.; former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg; Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt; and New York Times investigative correspondent James Risen.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, according to the Academy-including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners. An independent policy research center, the Academy undertakes studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education.

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