Three professors named Senior Faculty Research Fellows

A fellowship created by Elon University in 2008 will help support excellence in ongoing research and creative work by Janna Anderson, Heidi Frontani and Tom Henricks.

Elon University professors Janna Anderson, Heidi Frontani and Tom Henricks have been selected as Senior Faculty Research Fellows for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years.

To support excellence in ongoing scholarly work, the university created in 2008 the Senior Faculty Research Fellowship award, a highly competitive program for faculty with a minimum of seven years in rank at Elon. The award comprises a two-course reassignment for two consecutive years, plus $2,000 per year in research funding, in support of a significant project or set of projects that advance an already well-established and promising research agenda.

Anderson, a professor of communications, will use the award to complete the writing for her upcoming book, “The Future of the Internet, Volume 6,” for which most of the research and some of the writing have already been completed, and to research, write, and submit for publication her next book project, “Always On: How Human and Machine Networks are Changing Life and the World.” As Anderson writes, “Our lives are being radically changed and disrupted by new tools that allow us to access, aggregate, sort, evaluate, share, and respond to information in new ways….the creation and movement of intelligence by humans and human-built systems are evolving at a near-chaotic pace.”

Anderson’s work, an extension of more than a decade of research in this area, will examine questions and issues that arise as a result of these human-to-human, human-machine, and machine-to-machine intelligence networks.

Frontani, a professor of geography, will use the award to complete her book “Partners not Patrons: Rockefeller Foundation and Wellcome Trust Medical Philanthropy in British Colonial Africa.” Since 2011, Frontani has completed rigorous archival research on the subject, including extended time at both the Rockefeller Archive Center in New York and the Wellcome Library in London.

Though the importance of Rockefeller and Wellcome as philanthropists is well documented, the health sector of each foundation’s giving in Africa is not. In addition to developing a rigorously researched account of each foundation’s health-sector giving to British colonial Africa, Frontani’s work contributes to a highly under-researched area concerning foundations’ development assistance to and aid in Africa prior to 1945 and the era of Official Development Assistance, as well as a relatively unique description of aid successes.

Henricks, a professor of sociology and Distinguished University Professor, will use the award to complete his seventh book, “Ill at Ease: Modernity and its Discontents.” The new project aims to examine the sources and implications of discontent in modern societies, offering an “analysis of the conditions that confront and support human involvement, the possibilities for connection and disconnection from these conditions, and the ways in which these relationships have been altered by the social and cultural patterns of advanced modernity.”

The majority of Henricks’ previous work has focused on play and what might be called the positive emotions and experiences; his new project will extend and complement his earlier work by focusing on the difficulties, discontents and negative emotions produced by the circumstances of contemporary societies.

Anderson, Frontani and Henricks will join the three current Senior Faculty Research Fellows – Janet MacFall, Andrew Perry and Anthony Weston (2014-16) – and they follow the previous 12 Fellowship recipients: Steve DeLoach, Cynthia Fair and Jeffrey Pugh (2013-15); Kevin Boyle, David Crowe, and Megan Squire (2012-14); Laura Roselle and Joel Karty (2011-13); Clyde Ellis and Yoram Lubling (2010-12); and Anne Bolin and Mary Jo Festle (2009-11).

A call for applications for Senior Faculty Research Fellowships is announced early each fall. All faculty with a minimum of seven years in rank at Elon, established records of scholarship, and robust project proposals with the potential to significantly advance their research agendas are encouraged to apply.