|UNC's Ernst elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences|
|Monday, April 20, 2009|
Carl William Ernst of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been elected as a fellow in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.
Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. He specializes in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. His published research, based on the study of Arabic, Persian and Urdu, has been mainly devoted to the study of Islam and Sufism.
Last week, Ernst received a Guggenheim Fellowship to support his translation and study of the poetry of al-Hallaj, the Sufi martyr who was executed in Baghdad in 922. In December, he received the Farabi International Award in the Humanities from the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for his 1996 book on the 12th-century Persian Sufi Ruzbihan Baqli.
The scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders come from 28 states and 11 countries and range in age from 33 to 83. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 10 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Ernst’s most recent book, “Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World” (UNC Press, 2003), has received several international awards, including the 2004 Bashrahil Prize for Outstanding Cultural Achievement.
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Dee Reid, (919) 843-6339,