Stephen Mennell

Prof. Stephen Mennell
Sociology, UCD

Stephen Mennell is Professor of Sociology at UCD. The major intellectual influence in his work was Norbert Elias (1897–1990). Elias is best known for his book The Civilizing Process, but he was also a major critic of traditional philosophical conceptions of ‘the individual’ and mind–body dualism. Since 1997 Professor Mennell has been one of Elias’s executors.

Professor Mennell read economics at Cambridge (1963–66, and sociology at Harvard (1966–67), and gained his doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. He taught at the University of Exeter, UK (1967–90) and Monash University, Australia (1990–93). His many books include All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present (1985), The Course of Human History (with J. Goudsblom and E. L. Jones, 1996) and the recently published The American Civilizing Process (2007).

In 2004 he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Cambridge. He was a joint founder of UCD Press in 1995, serving as its chairman until 2006, and a member of the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2000–2.


Paper: "Against Dualism: Bodies in the Light of Norbert Elias's Post-philosophical Sociology"