Helene Peet Foley, a professor of classics, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (AAAS), one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers. Foley is among a group of 212 distinguished scholars, scientists, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders selected this year for their preeminent contributions to a variety of fields. Other Fellows elected this year include U.S. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens; computer company founders Michael Dell (Dell Computer), and Charles M. Geschke and John E. Warnock (Adobe Systems, Inc.); two-time cabinet secretary and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III; Academy Award-winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Cohen and Milos Forman; blues guitarist B.B. King; and corporate CEOs Margaret Whitman (eBay) and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo).
A leader in the study of women in antiquity, Professor Foley is renowned for her expertise in many aspects of Greek tragedy. Widely published, she is the author of "Female Acts in Greek Tragedy" (2001), and co-editor of and contributor to "Visualizing the Tragic: Drama, Myth, and Ritual in Greek Art and Literature" (2007). She served as president of the American Philological Association in 1998, and has received numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1991, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 1992, and a Loeb Library Classical Foundation Grant in 2005. While on leave from Barnard this semester, she is serving as Visiting Sather Professor of Classical Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and focusing on the ultimately successful struggle of Greek tragedy to find a place on the American stage.
AAAS is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, 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 of 4,000 American Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members includes some 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.