Three Northwestern University faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the oldest learned society in academia.
They are Eric M. Friedlander, Henry S. Noyes Professor of Mathematics; Barbara Newman, John Evans Chair in the Latin Language and Literature; and Samuel Weber, Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities.
Election to the academy, which was founded in 1780, recognizes those who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large. Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process.
Friedlander’s research areas include algebraic geometry, algebraic K-theory, and algebraic topology, with the goal of finding relationships and applications across various fields. Friedlander has held visiting positions in Heidelberg University, ETH/Switzerland, Max Planck Institut, and IHES/France (1982-3, 1990-91, 1998-99). In 2004 he taught an advanced graduate course at international mathematical conferences in France. He won the Humboldt Senior Scientist Award (1996-97), is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Mathematical Society and is co-editor of the Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra.
Newman is known for her work on medieval religious culture and women's spirituality. Her most recent book, “God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry, and Belief in the Middle Ages,” was published in 2002. She is also the author of “From Virile Woman to WomanChrist: Studies in Medieval Religion and Literature” and three works on Hildegard of Bingen: an edited volume, “Voice of the Living Light: Hildegard of Bingen and Her World”; an edition and translation of Hildegard's collected songs, “Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum”; and “Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine.” Newman has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alice Berline Kaplan Center for the Humanities at Northwestern.
Weber studied with Paul de Man and Theodor W. Adorno, whose book, “Prisms,” he co-translated into English. The translation of, and introduction to, Theodor Adorno’s most important book of cultural criticism helped define the way in which the work of the Frankfurt School would be read and understood in the English-speaking world. Weber has also published books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud as well as on the relation of institutions and media to interpretation. In the 1980s he worked in Germany as a “dramaturge” in theater and opera productions. Out of the confrontation of that experience with his work in critical theory came the book, “Theatricality as Medium,” to be published in 2005. He is also completing work on two other books: “Targets of Opportunity” and “Benjamin’s-abilities.”