Hugh N. Kennedy
|Born||22 October 1947|
Hythe, Kent, England
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
Hilary Wybar (m. 1970)
|Awards||FRSE (2000) |
|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 Spain 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.
Kennedy was born on 22 October 1947 in Hythe, Kent, England. 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. From 1966 to 1969, he studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He studied Arabic and Persian for Part 1 of the Tripos (achieving a 2:1), and history for Part II (achieving a first). He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1969. From 1969 to 1972, he was a postgraduate student within the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge. 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.
In 1972, Kennedy joined the University of St Andrews as a Lecturer in Mediaeval History. He was promoted to Reader in 1990. He was appointed Professor of Middle Eastern History in 1997. 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.
In 2007, he left the University of St Andrew's to join the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He was appointed Professor of Arabic at SOAS. 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.
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.
In 2000, Kennedy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). In July 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (FRAS).