Meet The Black Woman Making History At Harvard Divinity School

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On January 1, renowned ethnographer Marla Frederick will become the dean of Harvard Divinity School. The announcement was made by President Claudine Gay. David Holland, the John A. Bartlett Professor of New England Church History, will be the school’s interim dean until Frederick starts.

From 2003 to 2019, Frederick worked as an assistant professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard. During that time, she was also a vital voice on the Committee on the Study of Religion. In addition, Frederick served as a director of graduate studies and chair of the admissions committee for the Department of African and African American Studies.

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Frederick currently serves as a professor of religion and culture at Emory University. Originally from South Carolina, she received her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and her doctorate in cultural anthropology from Duke University. She currently works at Emory University, where she currently serves as a professor of religion and culture.

“I look forward to joining the HDS community in developing religious and civic leaders for our increasingly complex and diverse society,” Frederick said. All we can say about Frederick’s appointment is that it’s about time.

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