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Bard Professor Daniel Mendelsohn Is Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Daniel Mendelsohn, award-winning author, critic, and Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College since 2006, was among 180 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors, and institutional leaders who were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Saturday, October 6. Mendelsohn was inducted into the Academy’s 232nd Class of Members.

“Naturally it’s an extraordinary honor to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and to find myself in this remarkable company,” says Mendelsohn. “I’m particularly happy that this has come during my time at Bard, where the lively company of excellent colleagues, and the quiet and beauty of the setting, have made possible much of the writing that the Academy is recognizing. I couldn’t be more grateful, pleased, and proud.”

“Induction recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who together with the Academy will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy President Leslie Berlowitz. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic, and policy challenges of the day.”

Mendelsohn was born on Long Island and educated at the University of Virginia and Princeton University. Since 1991 his essays and reviews have appeared in many publications, most frequently in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He has also been the weekly book critic for New York and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. Mendelsohn’s The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, published by HarperCollins in 2006, is an international bestseller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Jewish Book Award. It won the Prix Médicis in France, among other honors, and has been published in more than 15 languages. Other books include a memoir, The Elusive Embrace (1999), a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year; a collection of reviews, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken (2008), a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; and an acclaimed two-volume translation of the poetry of C. P. Cavafy (2009), also a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A second collection of essays, Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, will be published in October. Mendelsohn’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Citation for Excellence in Book Reviewing, and the George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism. In 2008 he was named by The Economist as one of the best critics writing in English.

About the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation. The American Academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies, and an independent research center that draws from its members’ expertise to conduct studies in science and technology policy, global security, the humanities and culture, social policy, and education. The current membership includes more than 300 Nobel laureates, some 100 Pulitzer Prize winners, and many of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers.

PHOTO CAPTION: Daniel Mendelsohn, author, critic, and the Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College, signs the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Book of Members, a tradition that dates back to 1780.

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This event was last updated on 10-26-2012