Research/Areas of Interest:
Feminist analyses of childhood and masculinity; African American politics and intellectual history; Du Boisian Sociology.
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.) Generally, his research uses feminist and humanist methods to enrich a sociology in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, one committed to the rigorous and creative investigation of antiblack racism. This scholarly compass is guided strongly by a concern for the overlooked place of children and childhood in both Du Boisian Studies and mainstream sociology.
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 or will appear in the journals Sociological Theory, 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 Publications, 2017), for use in undergraduate courses on men and masculinities. Blume Oeur and CJ Pascoe have edited a new volume titled Gender Replay: On Kids, Schools, and Feminism (NYU Press, July 2023) which is a critical tribute to the research, mentoring, and teaching of the feminist sociologist of childhood, Barrie Thorne.
His current research falls under two categories:
Du Boisian Sociology. Blume Oeur's research goals aim 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 Fall 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 line of research is a book project (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 book that Du Bois imagined for children, but never wrote, around 1900.
Black Feminism and the Study of Black Masculinity. With Saida Grundy, Blume Oeur is undertaking a project that assesses the historical relationship between Black feminism and the study of Black men, boys, and masculinity. The first publication from this research reflects on a misguided attack on intersectionality by a "new Black male studies." It appeared as the chapter "Allyship in the Time of Aggrievement" in the 2021 volume Black Feminist Sociology: Perspectives and Praxis, with Routledge Press. A second article in progress uses the occasion of the 40th anniversary of debates in the journal The Black Scholar to historically situate today's tension between Black male s