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About Daniel McNeil

Professor Daniel McNeil is an award-winning author, editor, and mentor who explores how movement, travel, and relocation have transformed and boosted creative development, the writing of cultural history, and the calculation of political choices. Over the past twenty years, he has contributed to research, teaching, and program development within and across disciplinary and institutional boundaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.

In the United Kingdom, McNeil directed the Oxford Access Scheme Arts Summer School, a program that encouraged people from racialized and non-traditional backgrounds to apply to university in general and Oxford in particular. As a Lecturer in Black Studies at the University of Hull, he also curated Black History Month events and initiatives in museums, universities, art galleries, schools, and prisons that stimulated critical debate and collaborative action about historical and contemporary resilience and resistance to persistent anti-Black racism and xenophobia in Yorkshire.
 
McNeil's first book, Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic (Routledge, 2010), drew on interviews with mixed-race individuals in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom – as well as an eclectic range of literary, television and film resources from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – to unsettle regimes of representation that have framed mixed-race individuals as problems rather than people facing problems. Following the publication of Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic, McNeil was invited to serve as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Visiting Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University, a position designed to support intellectuals with a proven track record of research excellence. He was also invited to deliver prestigious lectures such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture in Chicago, provide expert testimony to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, and serve on the advisory boards of pioneering journals and digital museums and archives dedicated to widening knowledge about multiracial histories.

Following his tenure as a Visiting Professor at DePaul University, McNeil was appointed Carleton University’s strategic hire in Migration and Diaspora Studies. At Carleton, Professor McNeil worked collaboratively with colleagues in Canada's capital region to secure SSHRC research funding to bring together scholars and practitioners in Public History, Theatre and Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Migration Studies, and cognate fields in an international, interdisciplinary, and bilingual conference. One notable output from this intellectual gathering was the publication of Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), co-edited by Yana Meerzon, David Dean and Daniel McNeil, which received an Honourable Mention for the 2022 Patrick O’Neill Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR). In their citation for the book, the CATR’s Awards committee commended McNeil and his co-editors as skilled leaders of their crafts who had developed a “brilliant” and “provocative” contribution to support critical inquiry and public-facing research in fields such as Theatre and Performance Studies, Cultural and Migration Studies, and Applied Theatre and History.

Professor McNeil's contributions to Multiculturalism Studies in academic journals and edited collections have been particularly influential; McNeil's “Even Canadians Find It a Bit Boring: A Report on the Banality of Multiculturalism” was the inaugural winner of the Editor’s Award from the Canadian Journal of Communication (CJC) in 2022, and his analysis of multiculturalism as an idea, mythology, a government strategy, and media discourse has been the focus of extended debate and discussion in roundtable features and interviews in the CJC, Global Intellectual History, and other preeminent journals that cross national and disciplinary boundaries. He has been invited to provide advice, consultation and lectures on multiculturalism and anti-racism to institutions such as the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. He has also been invited to contribute to research handbooks on multiculturalism that bring together the leading authorities on the most essential concepts, arguments, and research regarding multiculturalism from an international perspective.

Professor McNeil’s work encompasses non-traditional academic publishing; his public engagement profile includes cultural criticism, public lectures, feature articles, podcasts, and contributions to documentary films. In 2019, he was selected as the inaugural Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow at the University of Toronto. This position, supported by the Mellon Foundation, is open to citizens of all countries who are tenured faculty members with a history of research achievement, the capacity to present their research across disciplinary and institutional boundaries, and a promise of continued excellence. In 2021, McNeil was appointed the Queen’s National Scholar Chair in Black Studies in recognition of his innovative, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research that reaffirms the agency of Black communities and fosters intellectual community. At Queen’s, McNeil has developed the Black Studies Podcast, which assembles artists, activists, curators, scholars, and musicians to discuss creative and collaborative knowledge-making, building and sharing, and has been recognized for effectively bringing humanities research into the public sphere for debate, discussion and examination with a nomination for outstanding education series in the 2023 Canadian Podcast Awards. His teaching and research have also stimulated creative and collaborative work in art galleries such as Another World That Sounds Like You, a multi-faceted exhibition and audio project co-curated by Toleen Touq, one of his graduate students, and co-produced by Gallery TPW and the South Asian Visual Arts Centre, which features sound-based works engaging the act of collective listening and communal sound-making. In addition, he has been honoured with a Black Scholars Excellence in Mentorship Award after receiving multiple nominations from current and former students inspired by his ability to study and engage the connections between the arts, social justice, and decolonial thought.

Professor McNeil’s most recent book is Thinking While Black: Translating the Politics and Popular Culture of a Rebel Generation (Between the Lines, 2022, and Rutgers University Press, 2023), which explores the deep, personal, and social engagements with music, film, and culture over the past half-century that have emboldened multiracial groups of people to imagine and build social movements that can dismantle racial hierarchies.
 

 
 

Positions

Present Professor and Queen's National Scholar Chair in Black Studies, Queen's University ‐ Gender Studies
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Adjunct Faculty Member, Carleton University
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Research Interests

African and Black Diaspora Studies, Black Atlantic Studies, Cultural Studies, Cultural Criticism & Theory, Decolonial Praxis, Interdisciplinary Studies of Liberation, Migration and Multiculturalism, and Public History

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Honors and Awards

  • Hart Prize for Modern History, Oxford University (2000)
  • Canadian Rhodes Scholars’ Foundation Scholarship (Oxford-Canada Scholarship) (2001-2)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Award, DePaul University (2012 and 2014)
  • Research Achievement Award, Carleton University (2015 and 2018)
  • University of Toronto Public Humanities Faculty Fellowship (2019)
  • Queen’s National Scholar (2021)

Books (3)

Playlists (1)

Reading Lists (1)

Articles (11)

Contributions to Books (6)

Interviews (6)