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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. I am currently completing the manuscript Rocking the Closet: Queer Musicians and the Power of the Closet for future publication. 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.


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

Curriculum Vitae

African American Studies (3)

American Postwar Literature (1)