Richard Sennett#

A Brief Biography

Richard Sennett was born in Chicago in 1943. He grew up in the Cabrini Green Housing Project, one of the first racially-mixed public housing projects in the United States. At the age of six he began to study the piano and the cello, eventually working with Frank Miller of the Chicago Symphony and Claus Adam of the Julliard Quartet. Mr. Sennett was one of the last students of the conductor Pierre Monteux. In 1963 a hand injury put a sudden end to his musical career; for better or worse he then embarked on academic study.

Mr. Sennett trained at the University of Chicago and at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1969. He then moved to New York where, in the 1970s he founded, with Susan Sontag and Joseph Brodsky, The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. In the 1980s he served as an advisor to UNESCO and as president of the American Council on Work; he also taught occasionally at Harvard. In the mid 1990s Mr. Sennett began to divide his time between New York University and the London School of Economics . In addition to these academic homes, he maintains informal connections to MIT and to Trinity College, Cambridge University.

Mr.Sennett is married to the sociologist Saskia Sassen. He continues to play chamber music for pleasure, and is a passionate cook.

Curriculum Vitae#

Biographical Data

Born: January 1, 1943, USA
American Citizen
British Permanent Resident

  • Harvard University Ph.D., 1969
  • University of Chicago B.A., 1964
  • The Julliard School of Music, 1961

Recent Honors and Awards
  • The Tessenow Prize, 2009
  • The Gerda Henkel Prize, 2008
  • The European Craft Prize, 2008
  • The Hegel Prize, Germany, 2006
  • Helen and Robert Lynd Award for Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2004
  • Rothermere Lectures, Oxford University, 2004
  • Castle Lectures, Yale University, 2004
  • Honorary Doctorate, Loyola University, 2003
  • The Berlin Prize for Sociology, 2001
  • The Amalfi Prize for European Sociology, 1999
  • The Friedrich Ebert Award for Sociology, 1999
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2009 --
  • Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, 2007 --
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, 2004 --
  • Fellow, The European Academy, 2001 --
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1996 –
  • Chevalier de l‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 1996
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Literature, 1996 --

Professional Memberships
  • The American Historical Association
  • The American Studies Association
  • The American Sociological Association
  • The British Sociology Association
  • The International Sociological Association
  • Societe Europeenne de Culture
  • The Tocqueville Society
  • Society of Architectural Historians

  • Editorial Board, Pequod, 1985 - 1990
  • Editorial Board, The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, 1981 --
  • Editorial Board, Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 1976 --
  • Editorial Board, Theory and Society, 1974 - 1981
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