Marla Frederick will become dean of Harvard Divinity School on January 1.
“I am honored to return to Harvard as the next dean of Harvard Divinity School,” Dr. Frederick said. “It is a place bustling with conscientious faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who are committed to the work of justice and human flourishing informed by deep study. I look forward to joining the HDS community in developing religious and civic leaders for our increasingly complex and diverse society.”
Dr. Frederick is currently the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Religion and Culture at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Prior to her appointment at Emory, she served on the Harvard faculty from 2003 to 2019 in the department of African and African American studies, with a joint appointment on the Committee on the Study of Religion. In 2008, she was named the Morris Kahn Associate Professor and was promoted to professor in 2010.
Professor Frederick is the author or co-author of four books, including Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global (Stanford University Press, 2015) and Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith (University of California Press, 2003). She recently served as president of the American Academy of Religion and has been president of the Association of Black Anthropologists.
A native of South Carolina, Dr. Frederick is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta where she majored in English. She holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Duke University.