Contemplative Studies Initiative and Concentration

Michael Kennedy

Michael D. Kennedy is Professor of Sociology and of International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

Michael KennedyAcross his career, he has focused on both knowledge cultural sociology and global social change. With regard to the latter, Kennedy has addressed East European social movements and systemic change with recent engagements around both Ukraine and Kosova.  On the former, he has worked on how communities of discourse use various kinds of questions, styles of reasoning, and forms of evidence to identify the qualities of justice defining various forms of social organization and modes of transformation. His last book, Globalizing Knowledge, combines both interests to figure how responsibility might be cultivated within universities and knowledge networks in their address of global publics. In the fall of 2022 he serves as Interim Director of the Brown University Contemplative Studies concentration, enabling him to develop further his knowledge cultural sociology of contemplative studies, on the one hand, and extending his work in martial arts sociology now with a more contemplative accent, on the other. Kennedy was the University of Michigan's first vice provost for international affairs in addition to being director of an institute and five centers and programs at UM; he also served as the Howard R. Swearer Director of Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. Kennedy concluded 9 years of service on the Executive Committee, as chair, and the Board of Directors at the Social Science Research Council in 2015, a two year term on the International Academic Advisors' Board of Singapore Management University's School of Social Sciences in 2017, a 3 year term on the Governing Board of European Humanities University in 2019, and 5 years as chair and co-chair of two education programs for the Open Society Foundations in 2021.  Within sociology, he was the chair of the Global and Transnational Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association in 2019-20.