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Department of History


S. Wright Kennedy

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: History
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: Gambrell Hall, Room 214
Headshot of Wright Kennedy


S. Wright Kennedy is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of South Carolina. He specializes in public-facing spatial history projects, and he uses geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis to study past and present health, environmental, and socioeconomic issues. Professor Kennedy has investigated a wide range of spatial history topics with GIS, including epidemics, streetcar corruption, hurricane recovery, residential segregation, and environmental injustices. Previously, he led the Mapping Historical New York ( project for four years as a postdoctoral scholar at Columbia University and served as project manager for three years on the imagineRio project ( at Rice University. He has a PhD in History, an MA in Geography, and is a certified GIS Professional (GISP). Professor Kennedy’s teaching interests include spatial history methods, public history, and the history of public health. He is working on his first monograph, tentatively titled Separate but Dead, which examines the rise of residential segregation in New Orleans at the end of the 19th Century and the unequal burdens of disease that segregation created.


Ph.D. Rice University, History
M.A. Rice University, History
M.A. California State University Long Beach, Geography
B.A. Louisiana State University, History

Selected Projects

Mapping Historical New York, Project Lead, 2018–2022
*Awarded Best Digital/Interactive Map 2022, Cartography & Geographic Information Society
*Awarded Best of Show (tie) 2022, Cartography & Geographic Information Society

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

Selected Publications

Alida Metcalf, Sean Morey Smith, S. Wright Kennedy. “‘A mere gutter! The Carioca Aqueduct and Water Delivery in Mid-nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro,” Urban History 49, no. 1 (February 2022): 61–87. DOI: 10.1017/S096392682000084X

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, edited by Charles Travis, Francis Ludlow, and Ferenc Gyuris. Springer Switzerland, (2020). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-37569-0_7

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).

S. 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 2017).

S. 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)

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