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About Daniel McNeil

Daniel McNeil joined Carleton in 2014 as a strategic hire to enhance the university’s research, program development and teaching in Migration and Diaspora Studies. Before joining Carleton, he served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University in Chicago and taught Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Hull and Newcastle University in the United Kingdom.
McNeil’s award-winning research contributes to the multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary and antidisciplinary analysis of the African and Black Diaspora. His recent publications include chapters in Film Criticism in the Digital Age, American Shame: Stigma and the Body Politic and Slavery, Memory, Citizenship. He is also the author of Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs, which is the first volume in Routledge’s series on the African and Black Diaspora and draws on a broad range of archival and theoretical material to provide a critical reading of representations that frame “mixed-race” subjects as pathological objects or “new” national icons for the twenty-first century. This monograph has had a particularly strong impact in the scholarly literature on the social and performative construction of multiracial and multiethnic identities and, in conjunction with his broader work, influenced critical reflections about a range of philosophical and theoretical debates in areas and fields such as Afropessimism, multiculturalism, affect studies and feminist thought. It has also provided generative material for ongoing collaborations with creative industries, curators of museums and art galleries in UK and Canada, nongovernmental organisations, and community groups.
McNeil’s current research projects examine the suggestive, provocative and explorative work of diasporic and dissident subjects who are in, but not always of, the global North. His forthcoming book project, A Tale of Two Critics: From "Young Soul Rebels" to "Grumpy Old Men", will contribute to academic and extra-academic debates by examining the journeys of intellectual discovery taken by two critics who have resisted the Scylla of narrow scholasticism and the Charybdis of superficial journalism.  To be more specific, it will produce the first sustained, historical analysis of Armond White – a public intellectual who is invariably described as an American contrarian and the most notorious film critic in the digital age – and Paul Gilroy – one of the most cited scholars in the humanities and social sciences and, arguably, the most influential intellectual writing in the United Kingdom. McNeil will also co-edit a collection on Migration/Representation/Stereotypes that builds on a SSHRC-funded project that brought together academics, activists and practitioners in Public History and Performance Studies, and contribute to edited collections on African Canadian history as well as the activism and aesthetics of global African Americans. In recognition of his recent and ongoing research projects, McNeil received the 2018 Research Achievement Award from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International) at Carleton University.
McNeil currently chairs the Migration and Diaspora Studies (MDS) Steering Committee, which received Carleton University’s Research Award in 2015 for building sustained connections across the university that have encouraged knowledge dissemination about the social, cultural, economic and political implications of the movement and transnational settlement of people. He also chairs the Awards Committee responsible for the stewardship of events and fellowships that bring intellectual benefits to a broad and diverse MDS community, and coordinates the MDS Specialization in the Bachelor of Global and International Studies as well as the development of the first MA program in Canada to bring together the distinct and related fields of Migration and Diaspora Studies.
McNeil’s teaching complements his research profile and program development by examining the Black Atlantic as an outernational network of power, communication and conflict, and placing the struggles for Black liberation in translocal contexts. His teaching seeks to cultivate learning environments in which students have the tools and confidence to synthesise material with care and rigour; debate provocative, suggestive and explorative work with grace and style; and thoughtfully respond to issues that are contentious and sites of desire.
Current Teaching
MGDS2000: Introduction to Migration and Diaspora Studies
This course introduces students to the burgeoning fields of Migration and Diaspora Studies by examining the cultural, social, political and economic implications of the movement of people and ideas.
HIST 3907A: Black Freedoms: African American Culture from Abolition to Black Lives Matter
This course explores the demand for black freedom that courses through U.S. culture from the movement to abolish slavery in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, and places this long struggle for justice and equality in a global and transnational context. Throughout, we will pay particular attention to the politics and poetics of black intellectuals, artists, and activists who have shaped the modern world by resisting forms of racial hierarchy and violence. Topics that will be explored in the course include: the marketing and reading of slave narratives; anti-lynching crusades and the visual archive of mob violence; contested memories of the transatlantic slave trade and imperialism; the relationship between anti-colonialism, surrealism and existentialism; Black Consciousness Movements and Afrofuturism; representations of love, sexuality and desire in popular culture; and current struggles against mass incarceration and police brutality.
CLMD 6101: Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity in Cultural Theory
This course will address the theory and practice of interdisciplinary studies of culture. Attention will be paid to those themes and issues in cultural theory of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that inform contemporary interdisciplinary work in literature, film, music, art and new media. ‎
Recent and Current Supervisions
Supervisor. Victoria Bisnauth, “Witnessing the Violence of Modern Exile: An Examination of the Relationship Between the Image, the Spectator, and the Context of Photographs of Pain and Suffering,” Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, 2016.
Co-supervisor. Liliane Braga. “Afrodiasporic cinematographies: Images and narratives under regimes of orality,” Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), In Progress.
Co-supervisor. William Leonard Felepchuk, “Unearthing Racial Necrogeographies in Settler Colonies: the life and death of burial places in Ontario and Virginia,” School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University. In Progress.
Supervisor. Jenn Ko, “Hong Kong-Canadian Immigration and the Anthropology of the Body, Health, Illness and Healing,” Department of History, Carleton University. In progress.
Co-supervisor. Diane Roberts, “Exile and Recovery in African and Indigenous Communities,” Concordia University. In Progress.
Co-Supervisor. Sarah Otto, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University. In Progress.


Present Associate Professor of History, Migration and Diaspora Studies, Carleton University

Research Interests

Migration and Diaspora Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, Global Canadian Studies, Decolonial Studies, Cultural Criticism, Critical Race Theory, Black Atlantic Studies, and African American History post-1865

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Honors and Awards

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Award (2013 and 2014)
  • Newcastle University Research Award (2010)
  • University of Hull Development and Alumni Grant (2008)
  • University of Toronto Fellowship and Teaching Award (2004)
  • Canadian Rhodes' Scholars Foundation Scholarship (2002)
  • Hart Prize for Modern History, Oxford University (2000)
  • Carleton University Research Award (2015)
  • Carleton University Research Achievement Award (2018)

Books (2)

Contributions to Books (3)

Articles (9)

Interviews (3)

Video (1)

Presentations (1)