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Jeffrey McCune, Jr. - University of Rochester. Rochester, NY, US

Jeffrey McCune, Jr.

DIrector | University of Rochester


Jeffrey Q. McCune, Jr. directs the Frederick Douglass Institute and is an expert on matters of race, gender, and equality.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Black Queer Theologies

Performance Studies

Masculinity Studies

critical race, gender, and sexuality theory

Popular Culture and Media Communication

Contemporary African-American Literature & Drama

Queer Theory



Jeffrey McCune, Jr. Publication Jeffrey McCune, Jr. Publication







Jeffrey McCune Jr., an award-winning scholar on issues of race, gender, and identity, is the director of the University of Rochester's Frederick Douglass Institute and chair of the Department of Black Studies.

McCune has a bachelor’s degree in speech/theater and secondary education from Cornell College and a master’s degree in communications studies from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He earned his PhD in performance studies, with a focus on African American and gender studies, from Northwestern University. Before coming to Rochester, he served eight years as associate professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies and of African and African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He’s the author of Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

At Washington University, McCune enjoyed a reputation as an engaging and stimulating professor. His sought-after course on Kanye West—“a case study for interrogating the interplay between fame, gender, sexuality, and race”—made a USA Today list of “11 college courses in pop culture we wish we could take” in 2017.

Education (2)

Northwestern University: Phd, Performance Studies with a focus on African American Studies; Gender Studies 2007

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: MA, Communication Studies 2001

Selected Media Appearances (4)

• Is it time to stop saying 'aloha' and other culturally sensitive words out of context?

USA Today  


Everyone needs context before speaking another culture's languages besides their own. "We have a responsibility to be somewhat judicious with our language, and to have care for what we do with language," says Jeffrey McCune, director of the Frederick Douglass Institute of African & African-American Studies at the University of Rochester.

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UR establishes Department of Black Studies

Rochester Business Journal  print


Jeffrey McCune Jr., the institute’s director, said a dedicated department will be able to develop curriculum and programming in a way that will be best suited for students.

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Amid controversies, one college professor says there’s value in teaching students about Kanye West

NBC News  online


Jeffrey McCune Jr. taught The Politics of Kanye West in 2017 at Washington University in St. Louis, and now he plans to launch a similar course on the rapper focusing on the relationship between white evangelical Christianity and anti-Blackness.

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Jeffrey McCune tasked with starting new UR Black Studies Dept.



Jeffrey McCune, Jr., who was brought in as the director of the University of Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies, is focussed on turning that program into a full-fledged department.

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Selected Articles (2)


American Quarterly

Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr. and Jordan Mulkey


Jeffrey McCune, Jr. and Jordan Mulkey discuss how to move blackness from an object of convenience to one of full-time dissent.

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Meditation - “Ultralight Beam”: The Gospel According to Kanye West

Journal of Hip Hop Studies

Jeffrey McCune


Jeffrey McCune discusses a drift which produces division and decay.

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