Biography

Devin Kennedy is a historian of technology and science in the 20th century US, and currently the Helen and Robert Appel Fellow in History & Technology at the New-York Historical Society. He holds a PhD from Harvard University's Department of the History of Science where Peter Galison was his advisor, and an AB from Princeton in Comparative Literature. In August 2020, he will join the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor in the Department of History.

Devin's research has been supported by fellowships from the Business History Conference and the engineering society IEEE. His scholarship and book reviews have appeared in Logic, Social Studies of Science, the British Journal for the History of Science and Enterprise & Society. He lives in Brooklyn with his dog, Chips, a retired racing greyhound, and partner, Eliza Rosenberry, a book publicist.

Research

Kennedy's current research centers on the history of the computer in the US since World War II. His book project Virtual Capital offers an account of the computer as it was remolded by scientists, engineers, and industry to help facilitate the country's shift from an economy dominated by manufacturing to one focused on the flow of finance capital.

 

As a fellow at the New-York Historical Society, Kennedy is researching the computerization of the financial services industry, and writing a stand-alone article on the history of finance in the two decades following World War II. Beginning around 1950, and for the first time since the 1929 crash, Americans became invested in the stock market, but often without knowing it. Americans' connection to capital became opaque and highly mediated through a growing number of investment institutions including mutual funds but also pension funds, insurance companies, and universities, all of which began to invest in shares of companies during this period. By 1967, economists and regulators were describing the effects of "institutionalization" on the mechanics and governance of capital markets. How did this institutionalization happen? How did corporations, unions, the government, and experts construct and contest it? 
 

If you're looking for the other Devin Kennedy, his site is here:  https://www.devkennedymusic.com/