Kennedy, Wright

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Office Hours

Fall 2019: Thursdays 8-10 AM



PhD — Rice University, History, 2018
MA — Rice University, History, 2014
MA — California State University Long Beach, Geography, 2011
BA — Louisiana State University, History, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2008


Interests and Research

Wright Kennedy specializes in geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis to study past and present health, environmental, and socioeconomic issues in cities. He has investigated a wide range of urban topics with GIS, including epidemics, streetcar corruption, hurricane recovery, and shifting environmental disease burdens linked to Jim Crow and residential segregation. He is a lecturer in the History Department at Columbia and the Postdoctoral Research Scholar on Mapping Historical New York, a spatial history project on immigrants and neighborhood development in the city during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His teaching interests include spatial history methods, urban geographic history, and the history of medicine.


Selected Projects

  • Mapping Historical New York, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, 2018–Present
  • New Orleans Mortality Project, PI, 2015–Present
  • Houston Buyouts Project, GIS Director, 2017–Present
  • Hurricane Harvey Survey (NSF Grant #1759457), Social Science Project Director, 2017-2018
  • imagineRio, Project Manager, 2012–2015
  • Hurricane Katrina Neighborhood Recovery Survey, GIS Research Associate, 2009–2012



Kevin Loughran, James R. Elliott, and S. Wright Kennedy. “Urban Ecology in the Time of Climate Change: Houston and the Case of Water,” Social Currents (accepted 2018).

Wright Kennedy, Jessica C. Kuzmin, and Benjamin Jones. “New Methods in the History of Medicine: Streamlining Workflows to Enable Big-Data History Projects.” Medical History, Media Review Series: Teaching & Researching the History of Medicine in the Era of (Big) Data, 61, no. 3 (July 1, 2017).

Wright Kennedy, Andrew J. Curtis, and Jacqueline W. Curtis. “Historic Disease Data as Epidemiological Resource: Searching for the Origin and Local Basic Reproduction Number of the 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105, no. 5 (September 3, 2015). *Awarded Mary Hayes Ewing Prize for the Best Article in Southern History (Rice)