Professor Henry Jenkins of the literature section is the new holder of the Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professorship of Humanities for a five-year term. He succeeds Professor Peter S. Donaldson, head of the literature faculty, who was the first holder of the chair.
The professorship was established in 1992 (the year of her death) by the family of Professor Friedlaender and supported by Conrail, on whose board of directors she served. It commemorates her career at MIT as dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science (SHSS), head of the Department of Economics and the Class of 1941 Professor of Civil Engineering and Economics.
Professor Jenkins, currently housemaster at Senior House, is a nationally prominent film and media scholar who joined the MIT faculty in 1989. Since 1993 he has been director of the Film and Media Studies program in SHSS. He is also head of the newly created Program in Comparative Media Studies, which will begin accepting master's-degree students in 1999. He holds the BA (1980) from Georgia State University, the MA (1985) from the University of Iowa and the PhD (1989) from the University of Wisconsin. Professor Jenkins is author or editor of six books, including two being released this fall: The Children's Culture Reader (NYU Press) and From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT Press), co-edited with Assistant Professor Justine Cassell of the Media Lab.
"Henry Jenkins's work in media studies ranks as the most exciting and creative scholarship in Humanities. In particular, his path-breaking research on the relationships between emerging media and contemporary culture has brought wide national attention to Henry's work at MIT," said Professor Philip S. Khoury, dean of SHSS, in announcing the appointment.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 30, 1998.