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Emory Law News Center

Faculty and Scholarship

Martha Albertson Fineman named to Academy of Arts and Sciences

Emory Law |

Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, is among four Emory professors recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. 

Fineman is an internationally recognized law and society scholar and a leading authority on critical legal theory and feminist jurisprudence.

She is the founding director of the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project. Begun in 1984, the project holds workshops and “uncomfortable conversations,” hosting visiting scholars from around the world. The project has produced 11 books thus far, including “At the Boundaries of Law: Feminism and Legal Theory,” the first published anthology of feminist legal theory, and “Transcending the Boundaries of Law: Generations of Feminism and Legal Theory,” celebrating the 25th anniversary of the project.

She also is the founder and director of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, which emerged from the FLT Project in 2008 and provides a forum for scholars interested in engaging the concepts of “vulnerability” and “resilience” and the idea of a “responsive state” in constructing a universal approach to address the human condition.

An American Bar Foundation Lifetime Fellow, Fineman, earlier this year, was honored with the Outstanding Scholar Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. She is the recipient of the 2017 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Law Schools, and served as the 2019-2020 Distinguished Lecturer, Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, Texas A&M University. She received the 2018 Kate Stoneman Award from the State University of New York, Albany, and gave the Seeger Lecture on Jurisprudence at Valparaiso University in 2017. She was awarded an honorary degree from Lund University in Sweden in 2013.

Prior to coming to Emory in 2004, Fineman served as the Maurice T. Moore Professor at Columbia University, then joined the Cornell Law School faculty, where she held the Dorothea Clark Professorship, the first endowed chair in feminist jurisprudence in the nation.

“I’m proud to see yet another distinguished class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences include so many exceptional Emory faculty members,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “This is a highly deserved recognition of both the excellence and impact that these four scholars have had as researchers, educators, communicators, and innovators across a range of disciplines.” Dean Mary Anne Bobinski echoed this praise, adding that Fineman's election is "a singular achievement."

The elected Emory professors are among 261 newly-elected members of the American Academy, which was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. The academy’s dual mission remains essentially the same more than 240 years later, with honorees from increasingly diverse fields and with work focused on the arts, democracy, education, global affairs and science.

“We are celebrating a depth of achievements in a breadth of areas,” says David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy. “These individuals excel in ways that excite us and inspire us at a time when recognizing excellence, commending expertise and working toward the common good is absolutely essential to realizing a better future.”