President David Wippman recently announced the appointment of four Hamilton faculty members to endowed chairs. All were effective July 1.
Karen Brewer was appointed the Silas D. Childs Professor in Agricultural Chemistry; A. Todd Franklin was named the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Teaching Excellence; Kevin Grant was awarded the Elias W. Leavenworth Professorship; and Marianne Janack was appointed the John Stewart Kennedy Chair of Philosophy.
The Faculty Handbook states that the appointment to a named chair or professorship “is an honor reflecting the special distinction that the holder of the Chair brings to the College and his or her profession. Many Chairs serve specific functions stipulated in the endowment or will of the donor, but several are without restriction. Appointments are normally for a fixed term, but they may be renewed." Nominations of colleagues for endowed chairs and professorships may be forwarded to the Dean of Faculty at any time.
Karen Brewer’s main research project has been in collaboration with Hamilton Physics Professor Ann Silversmith and Professor Dan Boye of Davidson College. In Brewer’s chemistry lab, students create glass that contains rare earth ions that have interesting spectroscopic properties. The glass is then probed in the laser spectroscopy labs in physics.
Brewer’s research has been funded by the Research Corporation and the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. She came to Hamilton in 1989 and teaches undergraduate courses in advanced and intermediate inorganic chemistry and general chemistry. Brewer earned a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Todd Franklin’s research focuses on the existential, social and political implications of various critical and transformative discourses aimed at cultivating individual and collective self-realization. He teaches courses on existentialism, Nietzsche and critical cultural studies and is a past recipient of the Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award.
The author of several scholarly works on the social and political import of various forms of existential enlightenment, Franklin is also the co-editor of a volume titled Critical Affinities: Reflections on the Convergence between Nietzsche and African American Thought. He holds a doctorate from Stanford University.
Kevin Grant is a historian of modern Britain and Ireland, European imperialism, and international humanitarianism He has authored The Congo Free State and the New Imperialism (2016), A Civilised Savagery: Britain and the New Slaveries in Africa, 1884-1926 (2005), and he is the co-editor of Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism, c. 1880-1950 (2007). He has also published articles in leading scholarly journals, as well as essays in edited collections.
Grant received the John R. Hatch Class of 1925 Excellence in Teaching Award at Hamilton in 2003. He is working on a comparative history of hunger strikes. He completed his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1997.
Marianne Janack, who received her doctorate from Syracuse University, teaches classes in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, feminist philosophy and philosophy and literature. In 2004, Janack won both the College's Hatch Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Richardson Award for Innovation in Teaching. She received a major National Science Foundation grant in 2008-09 to support her work on What We Mean By Experience, published by Stanford University Press in 2012.
Janack is also the editor of Feminist Interpretations of Richard Rorty. She is working on a book about David Foster Wallace, teaching and philosophy, based on a course she co-taught with students in spring 2014.