David L. Brunsma, who specializes in critical race theory, identity, and human rights, joins the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech as a professor of sociology.

“Dr. Brunsma provides just the right mix of strong academic credentials, professional experience, and personal enthusiasm to contribute to all of our programs within the department,” said John Ryan, chair of the Department of Sociology.

For the last seven years, Brunsma served as professor of sociology and Black Studies at the University of Missouri. From 1998 to 2004 he was a faculty member at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

Brunsma’s research focuses on ways in which scholarship can be used to combat social injustices. He is currently working on a major project, The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights, that he hopes will raise questions about human rights issues domestically and abroad. He also brings the journal, Societies Without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences, to Virginia Tech.

Brunsma investigates multiracial identity in the post civil-rights era in light of social, cultural, and narrative structures. The results have been published in several journals, edited volumes, as well as a book (with Kerry Ann Rockquemore), "Beyond Black: Biracial Identity in America, Second Edition" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Brunsma is also the author of "A Symbolic Crusade: The School Uniform Movement and What it Tells Us About American Education" (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2004) and co-editor of "The Sociology of Katrina: Perspectives on a Modern Disaster" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 and 2010).

In "Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identities in the 'Color-Blind' Era" (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), Brunsma brings together a myriad of leading scholars to set the critical research agenda for multiracial identity research, while his critical autoethnography, “White Lives as Covert Racism” recently appeared in "Covert Racism" (ed. Coates, Oxford University Press), in 2011. He has also published a dialogue with a former graduate student at the University of Missouri about new utopian visions of social science based on his work with Sociologists Without Borders, an international advocacy organization committed to the principle that everyone has a right to political freedom, legal protection, socioeconomic security, and self-determination.  

Brunsma earned his Ph.D. and master’s degree in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, and received his bachelor’s degree from Goshen College.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences added 27 faculty positions for 2011-2012 under the guidance of Dean Sue Ott Rowlands.