Michael D. Kennedy (@Prof_Kennedy) is professor of sociology and international studies at Brown University. Throughout his career, Kennedy has addressed East European social movements, national identifications, and systemic change. For the last 15 years, he also has worked in the sociology of public knowledge, global transformations, universities and social movements.
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 the Watson Institute for International Studies. Kennedy just concluded nine years of service on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors at the Social Science Research Council and began work on the Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundations’ Higher Education Support Program.
His latest book, Globalizing Knowledge: Intellectuals, Universities, and Publics in Transformation, is recently published by Stanford University Press.
Through Globalizing Knowledge, Kennedy explains how intellectuals and their knowledge institutions and networks shape, and are shaped by, global transformations. This cultural political sociology of knowledge and change is informed by his analysis of public engagements around inequality, nationalism, solidarity and energy across the world, especially in the USA, Europe and Eurasia. His recently published book, Globalizing Knowledge http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=24607, has led to a number of lectures and book panels whose extensions are available here:
Solidarity and Social Change
Kennedy’s first book concerned the Solidarity movement in Poland in 1980-81, but he now returns to the cultural politics and social movements underlying its translation across different contexts. This research arc finds expression in three broader collaborations:
Through the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and its partner in the project, Foundation Jean Jaurès, Kennedy participates in an international initiative committed to the development of a "New Global Progressive Construct" building on his past work with FEPS around solidarity http://www.feps-europe.eu/assets/94d2a134-9f28-4efb-9c0f-29748cb03310/next_8_framing_a_progressive_narrative.pdf
Together with colleagues in Kosova and building most recently on this work https://www.opendemocracy.net/michael-d-kennedy-linda-gusia/we-are-seeing-you-protesting-violent-democracies-in-kosova, he works to figure how projects around social justice, especially around opposition to violence and restitution for its victims, might realize greater recognition and effect in international policy regimes.
Together with colleagues in Poland http://watson.brown.edu/events/2015/globalizing-solidarity-step-step and in the United States https://slought.org/resources/love_driven_politics, he explores the ways in which different conceptions of love and solidarity might inform political dialogue and social transformation
Projections of Identity and Transformations of Capacity
In this research arc, Kennedy analyzes and elaborates cultural practices that enable the transformation of human and social capacity.
a) Recognizing the necessity of attachment to realize transformation, he has explored his own hometown’s search for grounding through the memorialization of a lost industry, Bethlehem Steel https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/biography/v037/37.1.kennedy.pdf.
b) Together with colleagues from Warsaw and Providence, he has is studying the travel and translation of capacity-building social entrepreneurship http://watson.brown.edu/events/2015/between-criticism-and-co-action-meeting-need-new-kind-relationship-between-policy-makers
c) He is currently writing about the process and consequence of transformations of self and community through heroic identifications and artistic projections across national and social differences.
d) Kennedy also anticipates in the coming years to turn his work teaching about Martial Arts, Culture and Society (https://www.academia.edu/4319567/_2013_Martial_Arts_Culture_and_Society_Fall_2013_Syllabus_in_Sociology_for_students_at_Brown_University) into a more general cultural transformational sociology that articulates proprioceptive awareness in social change.
(2016) "Ideology in the Time of Trump", Michael D. Kennedy. RI Future, July 21 http://www.rifuture.org/ideology-in-the-time-of-trump.html
(2015) “We Are Seeing You: Protesting Violent Democracies in Kosova”, Michael D. Kennedy and Linda Gusia. Open Democracy / ISA RC-47: Open Movements, 11 December https://opendemocracy.net/michael-d-kennedy-linda-gusia/we-are-seeing-you-protesting-violent-democracies-in-kosova
(2015) Globalizing Knowledge: Intellectuals, Universities, and Publics in Transformation (Stanford University Press) (for the book’s commentaries, etc. see https://www.academia.edu/10282109/Extensions_of_Globalizing_Knowledge)
(2015) Substantial Revision to (2001) “Eastern European Studies: Culture” in James D. Wright (editor in chief) International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, second edition. Volume 6. Oxford: Elsevier (pp. 805-809).
(2014) “Rewriting the Death and Afterlife of a Corporation: Bethlehem Steel” Biography 37:1(242-74)
(2014) “From Affirmative to Critical Solidarity in Politics” pp. 30-47 in Ernst Stetter, Karl Duffek and Ania Skrzypek (eds.) Framing a New Progressive Narrative FEPS Belgium. http://www.feps-europe.eu/en/news/586_next-left-vol-viii
(2013) “Russia’s Energy Relations in Europe and the Far East: Towards a Social Structurationist Approach to Energy Policy Formation” Journal of International Relations and Development 13:1:1-29 (Pami Aalto, David Dusseault, Michael D. Kennedy and Markku Kivinen)
(2012) “Cultural Formations of the European Union: Integration, Enlargement, Nation and Crisis” pp. 17-50 in Rebecca Friedman and Markus Thiel (eds.) European Identity and Culture: Narratives of Transnational Belonging Aldershot: Ashgate.
(2011) “Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and Historical Frames: 2011, 1989, 1968” Jadaliyya http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/2853/arab-spring-occupy-wall-street-and-historical-fram
Sociology 1950: Senior Seminar concentrators in Sociology
Advanced research seminar for sociology concentrators. Students take each semester in senior year to work on an honors thesis. Participants examine methods for analyzing, writing, and presenting thesis material and apply peer review techniques in assessing each other's work. Culminates in presentation of thesis to the department. Students doing independent study research may also participate with the instructor's permission. Required for "honors" in sociology. WRIT
SOC1871R-S01 Knowledge Networks and Global Transformation
How do refined knowledge and the social relations that organize and distribute it influence changes in the institutions, inequalities and cultural systems and practices that define particular world regions and global formations? And how do global transformations influence the trajectories of knowledge production themselves? We will examine particular knowledge-identified agents, including universities, research institutes, think tanks, and professional associations, to consider why they approach global transformations in the way that they do. And we will consider how particular kinds of global transformations, from the end of the cold war and the transformation of information/communication technology to the last financial crisis, affect knowledge production itself. By exploring intersections between global complexity and reflexivity in this fashion, we hope to increase our own capacities for seeing the world not only as it is, but how knowledge might be used in making better alternatives for the future. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. WRIT
November 23, 2016
Michael Kennedy in RI Future, "Sociology, history and other disciplines have long been interested in the history and constitution of whiteness, but more typically as an expression of power, not as an invitation to empathy."
November 14, 2016
Michael Kennedy in RI Future, "Like those who protest, I fear this election has destroyed the checks and balances that enable those who don’t share my privilege to feel any modicum of security in Trump’s America."
November 9, 2016
Policy in Perspective
October 11, 2016
Michael Kennedy in RIFuture.org, "Trump has given license to those who, in the name of opposing political correctness, feel free to demean and harm, in speech and in practice, those they consider inferior."
August 26, 2016
"Reflecting on his recent book, Globalizing Knowledge, Michael Kennedy examines the affinities and interconnections between interdisciplinarity and efforts by scholars and institutions to shape global knowledge cultures."
August 2, 2016
Michael Kennedy, professor of sociology, comments on an article about the volatile nature of elections and voters' assessment of political responsibility following tragedies.
July 29, 2016
MIchael Kennedy in RI Future, "Being progressive is not only about outcome. It’s also about process. It’s about living in our daily life the politics we want to see writ large."