Joseph Derrick Nelson, Ph.D.

Joseph Derrick Nelson, Ph.D. (he, him, his) is an Associate Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College. Notably, he is Chair of the Black Studies Program, Affiliated Faculty with the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Senior Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives at the University of Pennsylvania. Trained as a sociologist of education, his research examines race, boyhood, and education within learning environments that largely serve Black students from neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.

His forthcoming book is entitled, (Re)Imagining Black Boyhood: Portraits of Academic Success during the Middle School Years (Harvard Education Press), and he recently co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Boyhood in the United States, with over thirty contributors. In public media, his research has been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio. In the United States and abroad, he has presented his research at The White House Summit for Children’s Media and Toys, the Ideas Festival of the Aspen Institute, and the International Boys’ School Coalition. Last year (2020), he was named a Co-Editor of the historic journal, Men and Masculinities. In the high-poverty neighborhood where he grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he taught first-grade in a single-sex class of Black boys.