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About Vincent L Stephens

My scholarly work focuses on depictions of social plurality in post-WWII popular culture. Popular music is my primary area of interest and I have published essays in the journals American Music, Popular Music, and Popular Music & Society. All About Jazz Online, the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and Masquerade: Essays on Tradition and Innovation Worldwide (Deborah Bell, editor; McFarland, 2014) also feature my writing. My forthcoming manuscript Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music is scheduled for publication by the University of Illinois Press in fall 2019. I invite you to check out my blog Riffs, Beats & Codas ( which features monthly essays on contemporary issues in popular music, book reviews, reflections on musicians, and more.

I have also written about the media's depictions of families of choice and kinship in the book Culture,Trauma, and Conflict (Nico Carpentier, editor; Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007; 2015) and the scholarly peer-reviewed journals African American Review and the Journal of Popular Culture.

I am co-editor, with Anthony Stewart, of Postracial America? An Interdisciplinary Study (Rowman & Littlefield/Bucknell University Press, 2017). Learn more about the essay collection here:

I completed my Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland College Park in 2005. I serve as the Director of the Popel Shaw Center for Race and Ethnicity at Dickinson College. I am also a Contributing Faculty member in Dickinson College's Department of Music.


Present Director, Popel Shaw for Race and Ethnicity, Dickinson College

Curriculum Vitae

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African American Studies (3)

American Postwar Literature (1)