Freeden Blume Oeur

Freeden Blume Oeur

(617) 627-0554
Braker Hall, Room 118
Research/Areas of Interest:

My research engages feminist and humanist insights to enrich a Sociology in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, one committed to understanding the persistence of anti-Black racism today.


  • PhD, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, United States, 2012
  • MA, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, United States, 2007
  • MS, Elementary Education, Saint Joseph's University, United States, 2005
  • BA, Anthropology, Williams College, USA, 2003


Freeden Blume Oeur (he/him), a first-gen college student and child of Cambodian immigrants, is associate professor of sociology. (His full last name is "Blume Oeur" with no hyphen.) He is foremost a lifelong student of the liberal arts. His research engages feminist and humanist insights to enrich a Sociology in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, one committed to understanding the persistence of anti-Black racism today. This general compass is attuned to analyzing childhood in historical and contemporary contexts by overcoming presentist (the disregard of slavery's ongoing legacies) and adultist (the disregard of young people as trivial topics of study) orientations in sociological practice. He has overlapping interests with gender and masculinity, education, sociological and feminist theory, and African American politics and intellectual history. His methodology is a Black feminist practice that bridges archival and qualitative methods, empirical data and fiction, and a caring ethic and political praxis.

He holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Education and is a faculty affiliate with American Studies, the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, and Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Blume Oeur is past co-chair of the Board of Representatives for the Boston Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (2017-2020); and a past postdoctoral fellow with the W. E. B. Du Bois Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2019). In 2022 he was recognized with the Distinguished Early Career Award from the Children and Youth section of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Blume Oeur's essays have appeared in the journals Sociological Theory, Teaching Sociology, Critical Sociology, Social Psychology Quarterly, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociological Perspectives, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Socius, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His book, Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), is an ethnography that asks why Black communities would want to separate their schoolchildren on the basis of sex in neighborhoods that have long faced racial and social class segregation. Black Boys Apart has been recognized with multiple ASA best book awards. With Edward W. Morris, he is co-editor of a volume, Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society (Sage, 2017), for use in undergraduate courses on men and masculinities. Blume Oeur and C.J. Pascoe have edited a new volume titled Gender Replay: On Kids, Schools, and Feminism (NYU Press, 2023) which is a critical tribute to the research, mentoring, and teaching of the feminist sociologist of childhood, Barrie Thorne.

His current scholarship falls under three categories:

DU BOISIAN SOCIOLOGY. Blume Oeur's research aims to enrich a Du Boisian Sociology with humanist and feminist perspectives. The first paper from this research develops a Du Boisian trauma narrative to help explain the racialized consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The second thread from this research celebrates the centennial of The Brownies' Book, the nation's first serial publication for Black children (as guest editor of a special 2021 issue of The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth). A third line of research is an historical revival of Du Bois's prayers written for schoolchildren between 1909-1910 (with Phillip Luke Sinitiere and Becca Leviss). A fourth work illuminates a Du Boisian pedagogy committed to a positive notion of propaganda (which appeared in Teaching Sociology). The major project is a book-in-progress (tentatively titled The Children of the Moon, under contract with UNC Press) that traces a vision of Black childhood in the post-Reconstruction era by breathing life into a book that Du Bois imagined for children, but never wrote, around 1900.

CHILDHOOD AND COLONIALISM. The first effort is a special issue (with Donna Varga),