Laura E. Kennedy is a musicologist who specializes in twentieth-century music and Russian studies. Born in Michigan, Kennedy moved to the island of Guernsey (Great Britain) as a teenager, where she thrived on the unique opportunities afforded by the island's vibrant music scene playing under professional conductors, taking lessons with faculty from the Royal College of Music in London, and attending music courses at Oxford University. After graduating summa cum laude (B.M.) from Wheaton College, Kennedy matriculated at the University of Michigan for a Ph.D. in historical musicology. Her research on Dmitri Shostakovich took her to Russia, where she lived for eighteen months, becoming fluent in the language and gaining access to private archives and manuscripts in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Kennedy's research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Russia and Rackham Humanities Research and Dissertation Fellowships. Her dissertation on Shostakovich's sketch materials was nominated for a Distinguished Dissertation Award (2009) from the University of Michigan. Kennedy has presented her findings at national and international conferences and is actively publishing her work. She joins the Furman faculty after holding positions at the University of North Texas and Bowling Green State University. A committed and passionate teacher, she is devoted to cultivating her students' growth in knowledge and wisdom.