Contemplative Studies Initiative & Concentration

  • Please join Brown Contemplative Studies for Zazenkai with Rev./Dr. Masaki Matsubara on Saturday, February 24th, from noon - 5 pm in Winnick Chapel at the Brown/RISD Hillel (80 Brown St.). Please register for this workshop with [email protected].  For more information about the concentration in Contemplative Studies, please go to This event is free and open to the public.






    Please join the Catherine Kerr Vital Energy in Health and Healing Lecture Series for a talk by David Hessler, on Daoism in Practice:  United States and China. This lecture and discussion will be held on December 8th from 6 - 7:30 pm, EST.  This event will be both in-person and live streamed via Zoom.  For those of you who can attend in-person, it will be held in Smith-Buonanno, Rm. 106.  For those of you who cannot, please write to [email protected] to receive a Zoom link.







  • Please join Brown Contemplative Studies for Zazenkai with Rev./Dr. Masaki Matsubara on Saturday, December 2nd from 11 am - 4 pm in the Brown/RISD Hillel, Winnick Chapel.  This event is free and open to the public. If you wish to attend, please register with [email protected], as soon as possible. The day of the meditation - wear loose clothing, bring some form of hydration and a meditation cushion. (If you don’t have the latter, one will be provided.)

  • We are excited to be able to offer an array of Contemplative Studies courses for Spring 2024. Click above to learn more!




For the article on Chloe Zimmerman and the study on how Qigong can help alleviate...

Faculty Profile

Michael Kennedy

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