Shawn McGuffey

Kenan Distinguished Visiting Professor

As the Kenan Distinguished Visiting Professor, C. Shawn McGuffey comes to Transylvania from Boston College, where he is an associate professor of sociology and past director of African & African diaspora studies. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, and a Transylvania alumnus, McGuffey’s professional work primarily highlights how race, gender, sexuality and social class both constrain and create the choices survivors pursue in the aftermath of trauma in the U.S. and throughout the African diaspora. His most recent projects examine Black LGBT political perspectives and Black feminist geographies of Kentucky.

His award-winning research has appeared in Gender & Society, Social Problems, Du Bois Review and Journal of Black Psychology. His research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Black Rape Survivors Project, a Research Incentive Grant and the Institute for Liberal Arts. He has given invited lectures at the Center for Children and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, Harvard University, MIT and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

In Boston, he has led and served on the boards of multiple nonprofits that address issues of racial justice and LGBT rights, domestic violence and youth empowerment. He has also served on the Harassment Committee of the American Sociological Association and the Eastern Sociological Society’s Code of Conduct Committee — both charged with developing policies around various forms of harassment. He is also a member of the Planning Committee of the 2024 annual conference of the American Sociological Association.

A contributor to Basic Black on WGBH public television, McGuffey has also written op-ed and guest blog essays on Confederate monuments and white supremacy, hope and gratitude in the midst of cancer, hate crimes and the Orlando massacre, the George Zimmerman verdict and Bashir and the international criminal court.

Outside of academia, McGuffey enjoys practicing the art of Brazilian jiujitsu and competitive eating competitions. Pies and cupcakes remain his gastronomic specialties. He cultivates joy by making time for daily meditation, search and rescue training with one of his rescue dogs (trailing/tracking/air scenting), discovering the talents of his second rescue dog and baking pies while listening to old-school hip-hop and R&B.

Academic History

Ph.D., Sociology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2005
B.A., Anthropology and Sociology, Transylvania University, 1998

Awards and Honors

Distinguished Publication Award, Association for Women in Psychology, 2022

Arlene Kaplan Daniels Award for best article on women and social justice, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2022

Distinguished Article Award Honorable Mention, Race, Class and Gender section of the American Sociological Association, 2021

Kimberlé Crenshaw Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2016

Distinguished Article Award, Race, Class and Gender section of the American Sociological Association, 2016

Distinguished Achievement Award, Transylvania University, 2013

Best Article Award, Sexualities section of the American Sociological Association, 2009

Sally Hacker Award for research excellence, Sex and Gender section of the American Sociological Association, 2006

Professional Memberships

American Sociological Association
Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
Association for Women in Psychology
Association of Black Psychologists
Association of Black Sociologists
Black Women’s Studies Association
Eastern Sociological Society
Society for the Study of Social Problems
Sociologists for Women in Society

Courses Taught at Transy

Introduction to (Du Boisian) Sociology
African Diaspora Studies
Trauma, Culture, & Coping

Areas of Research and Specialization

Sexuality and trauma
Race, gender and social class
Black LGBT political perspectives
Black feminist geographies of Kentucky

Recent Publications

“Rape Appraisals: Class Mobility, Social Geography, and Sexual Morality Tales in Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda.” 2021. Journal of Black Psychology 47(6): 401-444.

“Intersectionality, Cognition, Disclosure and Black LGBT Views on Civil Rights and Marriage Equality: Is Gay the New Black?” 2018. Du Bois Review 15(2): 441-465.

“Racial Appraisal: An Integrated Cultural and Structural Response to African American Experiences with Violent Trauma.” 2015. Journal of Sociology and Social Work 3(2): 55-61.

“Rape and Racial Appraisals: Culture, Intersectionality and Black Women’s Accounts of Sexual Assault.” 2013. Du Bois Review 10(1): 109-130.

“Saving Masculinity: Gender Reaffirmation, Sexuality, Race and Parental Responses to Male Child Sexual Abuse.” 2008. Social Problems 55 (2): 216-237.

“Engendering Trauma: Race, Class and Gender Reaffirmation after Child Sexual Abuse.” 2005. Gender & Society 19 (5): 621-643.

Transylvania University | Academics