Contemplative Studies Initiative & Concentration

  • Please join the Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative along with the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life for the XXth Annual Mary Interlandi ’05 Memorial Lecture.  This year’s lecture will be delivered by Dr. Sarah Shaw, Oxford University, on What Happens After Mindfulness?, March 20th from 5:30 - 7 pm in Smith Buonanno, Rm. 106.  This event is free and open to the public.

  • Please join the Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative along with the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life for Mindfulness and What Happens Next…A Practical Workshop on Developing Mindfulness and the Factors of Awakening led by Dr. Sarah Shaw, Oxford University, on March 19th from noon - 5 pm at the Brown/RISD Hillel, Winnick Chapel.   This event is free and open to the public. Please register with [email protected]






  •  Please join the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and the Contemplative Studies Initiative for a Workshop on Indigenous Mindfulness lead by Prof. Michael Yellow Bird, Ph.D. on March 14th from 9 am - noon at the Brown/RISD Hillel, the Goldfarb Family Social Hall.  Please RSVP to [email protected].



  • We are excited to be able to offer an array of Contemplative Studies courses for Spring 2023. Click to learn more!

  • Congratulations to Ryan! Click to read more about this exceptional student!




Please visit this new addition to our website (listed on the menu to the left) which...

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.