Hugh N. Kennedy

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Hugh N. Kennedy
Born (1947-10-22) 22 October 1947 (age 73)
Hythe, Kent, England
Alma mater Pembroke College, Cambridge
Hilary Wybar
(m. 1970)
Awards FRSE (2000)
FBA (2012)
Scientific career
Institutions University of St Andrews
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Thesis Politics and the political élite in the early Abbasid Caliphate (1978)

Hugh Nigel Kennedy FRSE FRAS FBA (born 22 October 1947) is a British medieval historian and academic. He specialises in the history of the early Islamic Middle East, Muslim Iberia and the Crusades. From 1997 to 2007, he was Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of St Andrews. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London.


Early life

Kennedy was born on 22 October 1947 in Hythe, Kent, England. [1] He spent a year 1965-6 studying at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies at Shemlan in Lebanon; he had received a scholarship from the British Foreign Office. [2] From 1966 to 1969, he studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge. [1] [2] He studied Arabic and Persian for Part 1 of the Tripos (achieving a 2:1), and history for Part II (achieving a first). [2] He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1969. [1] From 1969 to 1972, he was a postgraduate student within the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge. [2] He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1978 with a doctoral thesis titled Politics and the political élite in the early Abbasid Caliphate. [3]

Academic career

In 1972, Kennedy joined the University of St Andrews as a Lecturer in Mediaeval History. He was promoted to Reader in 1990. [2] He was appointed Professor of Middle Eastern History in 1997. [1] [2] He held a number of academic administration appointments at St Andrews: he was Deputy Head of the School of History from 1992 to 1998, and was Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1995 to 1998. [2]

In 2007, he left the University of St Andrews to join the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. [1] He was appointed Professor of Arabic at SOAS. [2] From January 2015 to January 2018, he is leading a project at SOAS titled Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000CE; it is being funded by the Leverhulme Trust. [4]

Among his research topics is the History of the Islamic Middle East, Islamic Archaeology and Muslim Iberia. [5]

Personal life

In 1970, Kennedy married Hilary Wybar. Together they have had four children; one son and three daughters. One of their daughters has pre-deceased her parents. [1]


In 2000, Kennedy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). [2] [6] In July 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). [7] [8] He is also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (FRAS). [2]


Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "KENNEDY, Prof. Hugh Nigel". Who's Who 2015. Oxford University Press. November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Prof. Hugh N. Kennedy - CURRICULUM VITAE" (PDF). School of Oriental and African Studies. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  3. Kennedy, Hugh Nigel (1978). "Politics and the Political Elite in the Early Abbasid Caliphate". Newton Library Catalogue. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  4. "Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000CE". School of Oriental and African Studies. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  5. Professor Hugh N Kennedy | Staff | SOAS, University of London
  6. "Directory 2013/14" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. p. 150. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  7. "Fellows elected July 2012". British Academy. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  8. "KENNEDY, Professor Hugh". British Academy Fellows. British Academy. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2015.