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Photo by Jerry Speier

CUNY Distinguished Professor of History Ervand (Jed) Abrahamian joined the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein when he was inducted this fall into one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since its founding in 1780, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers.” Its current membership includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows, as well as Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award winners.

Abrahamian, a specialist in Middle East and Iranian history, expressed surprise and delight at his election. “This came to me completely out of the blue,” he said. “It’s a great honor to be in the company of some of the world’s top scientists, artists, historians, and educators. I never expected my name to be listed anywhere alongside that of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Steve Martin [both fellow 2010 electees].”