S. Wright Kennedy is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Rice University. His primary area of interest is the integration of spatial perspectives into the study of nineteenth- century U.S. health and economics history. While earning his master’s degree in geography from California State University, Long Beach, he specialized in geographic information sciences and spatial analysis. His master’s thesis used historical geographic information systems (HGIS) to uncover the spatial origins and spreading patterns of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee. From 2012 to 2015 he served as the project manager for the imagineRio project at Rice University (launch date February 2016).

Currently he is the principal investigator on the New Orleans Mortality Project, a component of his dissertation. This research project employs HGIS to identify and analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of disease and socioeconomics at the individual, neighborhood, and community levels to understand how health, environment, and socioeconomics impact urban and community development in New Orleans during the Gilded Age (1877-1915).



May 2017 – Rice Magazine included the New Orleans Mortality Project in the featured article, “Mapping the Questions.”

Mapping the Questions

March 2017Southern Spaces published “The Potential of Historical GIS and Spatial Analysis in the Humanities,” part of Emory University’s “MAP IT | Little Dots, Big Ideas” lecture series