• Faculty Fellows
Michael D. Kennedy

Michael D. Kennedy

Office hours: Wednesdays, 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Room 226, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and by appointment.

Twitter: @Prof_Kennedy

As a Swearer Center Faculty Fellow, I teach "Ethics, Justice, and Transformations in Engaged Scholarship" on Thursdays from 4 to 6:20 p.m. in the fall semester. By engaging knowledge activists from various communities and universities from Providence to Prishtina, we work to enhance our capacities for articulating problem-driven research, to deepen our normative grounding in those choices, and to address and extend our transformational solidarities within and beyond the academy.

I have worked primarily in global and transnational sociology (whose American Sociological Association section I now chair). I began my academic career by engaging the 1980s Polish Solidarity movement, turning next to how global forces and individual subjects negotiated the transition away from communist rule in Europe. My last book
moves beyond particular world regions to figure how knowledge reflects, and can shape, global transformations. Most recently, together with former Brown University student Merone Tadesse, I explore how that globalizing knowledge and mobilizations around diversity and inclusion within universities might inform one another better (forthcoming -- email me for it!).  

Most of my engaged scholarship within the U.S. has focused on teaching. In the 1980s, I taught courses on Reaganism, asking under what conditions it could be called a social problem. In this decade, my introductory courses have asked how our sociological imagination might be transformed to address the triumph of figures like Trump across the world, with my public contributions in various media extending those lessons.