Department of Sociology

Derron Wallace

Associate Professor of Sociology and Education

Jacob S. Potofsky Chair in Sociology

Derron Wallace

Derron Wallace is a sociologist of race, ethnicity and education. He specializes in cross-national studies of structural and cultural inequalities in urban schools across global cities, focusing specifically on the experiences of young people of African descent. His current research examines the educational outcomes of Black youth in London and New York City.

Derron is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Wheaton College (Massachusetts), where he studied sociology and the African diaspora. He earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Marshall and Gates Cambridge Scholar.

With wide-ranging experiences in educational activism, analysis, policy and research, Derron has worked with nomads in Ethiopia, young people with disabilities in Rwanda, immigrant youth in London, economically disadvantaged rural youth in Jamaica, English language learners in Thailand and gifted students in New York City. He served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Education in Rwanda. He also worked as a professional community organizer and consultant with local educational authorities in London.


  • PhD, University of Cambridge

  • MPhil, University of Cambridge

  • BA, Wheaton College

Awards and Honors

  • Derron Wallace was named the Jacob S. Potofsky Chair in Sociology (2023). This appointment recognizes outstanding accomplishments as a scholar and a teacher, as well as considerable contributions to the Brandeis community.
  • Mandel Faculty Grant in the Humanities (2021)

  • Joyce Cain Award for Distinguished Research on People of African Descent, Comparative & International Education Society (2019)

  • Kermit H. Perlmutter Fellowship for Research and Teaching Excellence (2018)

  • Outstanding Paper Award, International Studies SIG, American Educational Research Association (2018)

  • Provost Research Award, Brandeis University (2018-19)

  • Stuart Hall Fellowship, W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University (2018-19)

  • Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018)

  • Michael L. Walzer '56 Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017)

  • Marion & Jasper Whiting Fellowship (2016-17)

  • Brenda Meehan Social Justice-in-Action Grant (2015-16)

  • Distinguished Dissertation Award, Division G, American Educational Research Association (2015)

  • Provost's Teaching Innovation Grant (2015-16)

  • Schusterman Foundation Fellowship (2015 -16)

  • Theodore & Jane Norman Funds for Faculty Research (2014-15)


  • Wallace, Derron. "The Diversity Trap? Critical Explorations of Black Male Teachers’ Negotiations of Leadership and Learning in British Public Schools." Race, Ethnicity and Educationn 23. 3 (2020): 345-366.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Making moral migrants? Exploring the educational aspirations of Black African and Caribbean boys in a New York City public school." International Studies in Sociology of Education 12. 3-4 (2019): 237-258.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Review of White Privilege: The Myth of a Post-Racial Society." Sociology vol. 53 2019: 1194-1196.

  • Wallace, Derron. "The Racial Politics of Cultural Capital: Perspectives from Black Middle-Class Pupils and Parents in a London Comprehensive." Cultural Sociology 13. 2 (2019): 159-177.

  • Wallace, Derron (with Evariste Karangwa and Jeannette Bayisenge). " 'Boys don’t rule us’: Rwandan Girls’ Critical Interrogation of Masculine Domination in Classrooms." International Journal of Inclusive Education OnlineFirst. (2018): 1-19.

  • Wallace, Derron (with Jeannette Bayisenge and Evariste Karangwa). "Between Rhetoric and Reality: Disabled Rwandan Young Women’s Perspectives on Gender Inequality in School." Disability & Society 1-19 (2018).

  • Wallace, Derron. "Review of Beyond Expectations: Second Generation Nigerians in the United States and Britain." Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2018: 1-2.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Safe Routes to Schools? Black Caribbean Youth Negotiating Police Surveillance in London and New York City." Harvard Educational Review 88. 3 (2018): 261-286.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Students' Safety as a Top Priority." Harvard Education Publishing, Nov. 9, 2018: 

  • Wallace, Derron. "Aspiration Anxieties: Developing Middle Class Manhood among Black African Boys in London." Masculinity and Aspiration in the Era of Global Neoliberal Education: International Perspectives. vol. 1 London & New York: Routledge, 2017. 54-77.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Cultural capital as whiteness? Examining logics of ethno-racial representation and resistance." British Journal of Sociology of Education OnlineFirst. (2017): 1-21.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Distinctiveness, Deference and Dominance in Black Caribbean Fathers’ Engagement with Public Schools in London and New York City." Gender & Education 29. 5 (2017): 594-613.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Review of The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admission and Meritocracy." International Studies in Sociology of Education vol. 26 of 4 2017: 430-431.

  • Wallace, Derron. "Reading ‘Race’ in Bourdieu? Examining Black Cultural Capital Among Black Caribbean Youth in South London." Sociology 58. 3 (2016): 24-50.

  • Wallace, Derron (with Garth Stahl and Joseph Nelson). "Race, Class, and Gender in Education: Repositioning Intersectionality Theory." Culture, Society & Masculinities 14. 1 (2015): 28-42.

  • Wallace, Derron (with Javier Trevino and Michelle Harris). "What’s so critical about Critical Race Theory?." Contemporary Justice Review 11. 1 (2008): 7-10.