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Kevin Kenny

professor and chair of the department

Kevin Kenny, 2007

Telephone: (617) 552-0825

Office Location: Stokes S355


Curriculum Vitae

Web Site:

Twitter: @kgmkenny


PhD, Columbia University, 1994

Fields of Interest

American immigration; global migration and diaspora

Academic Profile

Professor Kenny's principal area of research and teaching is the history of American immigration, labor, and global migration. He has written several books on these subjects. Making Sense of the Molly Maguires examines how traditions of Irish agrarian protest were translated into an American industrial setting. The American Irish: A History offers a survey of the field since 1700. Peaceable Kingdom Lost analyzes the unraveling of William Penn’s vision of harmonious co-existence for Native Americans and European colonists. Kenny’s most recent book, Diaspora: A Very Short introduction, examines the origins, meaning, and utility of a central concept in the study of migration, with particular reference to Jewish, African, Irish, and Asian history.

For a list of PhD dissertations that Prof. Kenny has supervised, please click here.

Representative Publications

  • Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (2013).
  • Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn’s Holy Experiment (2009).
  • The Irish: Towards the USA (2006). An illustrated history. Hardcover, 103 pages, with 90 illustrations. Published simultaneously in Italian (Giuliana Olivero, trans.) as Gli irlandesi che hanno fatto l’America.
  • Ireland and the British Empire, Editor (2004)
  • "Diaspora and Comparison: The Global Irish as a Case Study," Journal of American History (June 2003)
  • New Directions in Irish-American History (2003)
  • The American Irish: A History (2000)
  • "Development of the Working Classes" Blackwell Companion to Nineteenth-Century America (1999)
  • Making Sense of the Molly Maguires (1998)