Kennedy, Sheridan Wright

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Office Hours

Fall 2021: Zoom, Wednesdays 10am-noon


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 history topics with GIS, including epidemics, streetcar corruption, hurricane recovery, residential segregation, and environmental injustices. He is a lecturer in the History Department at Columbia and the project lead on Mapping Historical New York, a spatial history project on immigrants and neighborhood development in the city during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. His teaching interests include spatial history methods, urban history, environmental history, and the history of public health. His current book project uses GIS to reexamine the shifting environmental disease burdens linked to Jim Crow and residential segregation in New Orleans.

Selected Projects

  • Mapping Historical New York, Project Lead, 2018–Present
  • New Orleans Mortality Project, PI, 2015–Present
  • Houston Buyouts Project, GIS Director, 2017–2019
  • 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



Alida Metcalf, Sean Morey Smith, and S. Wright Kennedy. “‘A mere gutter!’ The Carioca Aqueduct of Rio de Janeiro,” Urban History, December 9, 2020 (online first).

S. Wright Kennedy. “Corruption and Development of Atlanta Streetcar Lines in the Nineteenth Century: A Historical GIS Perspective,” in Historical Geography, GIScience and Textual Analysis: Mapping the Landscapes of Time and Place, edited by Charles Travis, Francis Ludlow, and Ferenc Gyuris. Springer Switzerland, (2020).

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 6, no. 2 (2019).

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, TennesseeAnnals 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)