Professional Biography

Dr. Ed Brockenbrough joined the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership division as an associate professor in 2017. Upon arrival, he was named Penn GSE’s inaugural Calvin Bland Fellow, a distinction that recognizes and funds his scholarly work on the educational experiences of young men of color. Prior to joining Penn GSE’s faculty, Dr. Brockenbrough served as a faculty member at the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education, where he prepared urban teachers as Director of the Urban Teaching and Leadership program. He also facilitated professional development sessions on LGBTQ issues for educators in the Rochester City School District, and he served as Board President of the MOCHA Center, a nonprofit agency that addressed health disparities affecting LGBTQ communities of color in western New York.

Dr. Brockenbrough has delivered numerous keynotes and invited presentations across the country on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in urban education, and he served as co-editor for a special issue of Curriculum Inquiry—the journal’s first-ever special issue—on Queers of Color and Anti-Oppressive Knowledge Production. His scholarly work has appeared in Teachers College Record, the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Urban Education, AESA’s Educational Studies, and other journals and edited anthologies.

Dr. Brockenbrough earned his Ph.D. in the Foundations and Practices of Education from Penn GSE in 2009. While earning his doctorate, he evaluated numerous local educational reform efforts as a staff member at Research for Action, a Philadelphia-based educational research organization, and he co-founded and facilitated Black Men United, a support initiative for Black male undergraduates sponsored by Penn’s Makuu Black Cultural Center. Prior to his graduate studies, Dr. Brockenbrough began his educational career as a middle and high school history teacher at an independent school in the Bronx, NY, and he served as co-chair for the New York City chapter of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (, leading professional development workshops on LGBT issues for educators across the New York metropolitan area.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Brockenbrough’s research focuses on negotiations of identity, pedagogy, and power in urban educational contexts, particularly through the lenses of Black masculinity studies and queer of color critique. His dissertation, funded by a grant from the American Educational Research Association and the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, examined the challenges and opportunities encountered by Black male teachers in an urban, predominantly Black school district. Along with generating several journal articles, that research will appear in a sole-authored book titled Black Men Teaching in Urban Schools: Reassessing Masculinity, to be published by Routledge in early 2018.


His second line of inquiry on the educational perspectives and needs of queer youth of color emerged from an ethnography of an HIV/AIDS prevention center that operated as an alternative, culturally responsive pedagogical space for Black and Latino queer youth. That ethnography was followed by a mixed-methods study conducted with Dr. Mitchell Wharton, and funded by the University of Rochester’s Center for AIDS Research, on the sexually-oriented engagements of networked technologies by young Black men who have sex with men (The SENT Study). These studies inform his ongoing work on Black queer pedagogies, with a particular attention to culturally responsive sexual health education for young Black queer males.



Ph.D. (Foundations and Practices of Education), University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, 2009

M.S.Ed. (Foundations and Practices of Education), University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, 2004

B.A. (American Civilization), Brown University, 1995

Areas of Expertise

Teacher education
Urban education
LGBTQ issues in education
Black masculinity studies
Queer of color critique

Selected Publications

Brockenbrough, E. (Forthcoming). Outing the politics of knowledge production: Educational scholarship on LGBTQ issues. Educational Researcher.

Brockenbrough, E. (Forthcoming). “We don’t see a lot of people like you”: Black queer men mentoring Black queer male youth. In S. Talburt (Ed.), Youth sexualities: Public feelings and contemporary cultural politics. Praeger.

Brockenbrough, E. (2016). Becoming queerly responsive: Culturally responsive pedagogy for Black and Latino urban queer youth. Urban Education, 51(2), 170–196.

Brockenbrough, E. (2015). Queer of color agency in educational contexts: Analytic frameworks from a queer of color critique. Educational Studies, 51(1), 28–44.

Brockenbrough, E. (2014). Further mothering: Reconceptualizing White women educators’ work with Black youth. Equity & Excellence in Education, 47(3), 253–272.

Brockenbrough, E. (2015). “The discipline stop”: The contested role of Black male teachers in urban school discipline. Education and Urban Society, 47(5), 499–522.

Brockenbrough, E. (2013). Educating the race in postmodern times: The intraracial border crossings of Black male teachers. In C. W. Lewis & I. A. Toldson (Eds.), Black male teachers: Diversifying the United States’ teacher workforce (pp. 25–42). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

Brockenbrough, E., & Boatwright, T. (2013). In the MAC: Creating safe spaces for transgender youth of color. In K. Jocson (Ed.), Cultural transformations: Youth and pedagogies of possibility (pp. 165–182). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Brockenbrough, E. (2013). Introduction to the special issue: Queers of color and anti-oppressive knowledge production. Curriculum Inquiry, 43(4), 426–440.

Brockenbrough, E. (2012). Agency and abjection in the closet: The voices (and silences) of Black queer male teachers. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(6), 741–765.

Brockenbrough, E. (2012). Emasculation blues: Black male teachers’ perspectives on gender and power in the teaching profession. Teachers College Record, 114(5), 1–43.

Brockenbrough, E. (2012). “You ain’t my daddy!”: Black male teachers and the politics of surrogate fatherhood. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 16(4), 357–372.

Marquez, R., & Brockenbrough, E. (2013). Queer youth v. the state of California: Interrogating legal discourses on the rights of queer students of color. Curriculum Inquiry, 43(4), 461–482.