Daniel McNeil

Daniel McNeil

Professor and Queen’s National Scholar Chair in Black Studies

Black Studies

PhD (History), University of Toronto
MA (History/Ethnic and Pluralism Studies), University of Toronto 
BA Honours (History), Oxford University

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Research interests
Black Atlantic Studies; Diaspora and Decolonization; Migration and Multiculturalism; Public History and Public Humanities
Daniel McNeil's scholarship and teaching in Black Atlantic Studies explore how movement, travel and relocation have transformed and boosted creative development, the writing of cultural history and the calculation of political choices.
Professor McNeil has contributed to research, teaching and program development within and across disciplinary and institutional boundaries in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. As an undergraduate student in the United Kingdom, he 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. After completing his PhD in History and Ethnic and Immigration Studies at the University of Toronto, he moved back to England to become a Lecturer in Black and Minority Studies at the University of Hull and a research fellow at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, where he 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.
After the publication of Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic (Routledge, 2010), his book about prurient histories that have framed ‘mixed-race’ individuals as pathological objects and ahistorical accounts that have celebrated ethnically ambiguous individuals as ‘post-racial’ icons, McNeil was appointed the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Visiting Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. In this position named in honour of a crusading journalist and activist, he designed and developed speaker series, community-engaged workshops, and other events that brought humanities research into the broader public realm for discussion, debate, and examination across multiple media platforms, and made space in the academy for the knowledge of communities.
As chair of the Migration and Diaspora Studies Initiative at Carleton University between 2014-18, McNeil coordinated 47 faculty from 24 different units and received University Research Awards in 2015 and 2018 for building sustained connections across Carleton and its local, national, and international partners. In 2019-20, he was the first person to hold the Public Humanities Faculty Fellowship at the University of Toronto, a position funded by the Mellon Foundation that 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, a demonstrated track record of bringing humanities research into the public realm for discussion, debate and examination, and a promise of continued excellence. In 2021, he was appointed the Queen's National Scholar Chair in Black Studies in recognition of his award-winning research achievements in Global Black Studies; his development of innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research programs; and his provision of rich and rewarding learning environments for students to engage the connections between the arts, social justice, decolonial thought, and practices of anti-oppression.
Professor McNeil is currently working on research projects that examine anti-racist and decolonial critiques of official and corporate forms of multiculturalism, online educational resources that map the political aspirations and achievements of Black Atlantic peoples and cultures across time and space, and podcasts that bring together scholars, activists and creatives to discuss collaborative and creative knowledge-making. Thinking While Black, his book about the political, intellectual, artistic and activist work of soul rebels, Black Atlantic intellectuals and planetary humanists over the past fifty years, will be published by Rutgers University Press and Between the Lines in the fall of 2022. 

Representative Publications
What Do They Know of Canada Who Only Canada Know? An Immigrant’s Guide to Multiculturalism and Shy Elitism,” The C.L.R. James Journal, 27.1/2 (2021): 325-367.   

Even Canadians Find It a Bit Boring: A Report on the Banality of Multiculturalism, Immigration and Race Relations,” Canadian Journal of Communication 46.3 (2021): 403-429. 

with Chris Russill, “‘Multicultural Snake Oil’ and Black Cultural Criticism: A conversation with Daniel McNeil,” Canadian Journal of Communication 46.3 (2021): 663-687.

“Wrestling with Multicultural Snake Oil: A Newcomer’s Introduction to Black Canada,” Unsettling the Great White North: Black Canadian History, eds. M. Johnson and F. Aladejebi (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021), pp. 585-610. 

with Y Meerzon and D. Dean (eds.), Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). 

“Ethnicity, Ethicalness, Excellence: Armond White’s All-American Humanism,” African American Arts: Activism, Aesthetics, and Futurity, ed. S. Luckett (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2020), pp. 69-88.  

“‘Why on earth are you talking like an extra from The Wire?” Alt.theatre: Cultural Diversity and the Stage, 15.2 (2019): 10-15.

with Phil Treagus, “Tools to Situate and Critique,” The Reading Lists, August 2018. 

with Ash Sharma, Anamik Saha, Naaz Rashid, Jasbinder Nijjar, Malcolm James, Chanzo Greenidge and Dhanveer Singh Brar, “England and the World Cup,” Darkmatter 10 (2018).

“The Last Honest Film Critic in America: Armond White and the Children of James Baldwin,” Film Criticism in the Digital Age, eds. Mattias Frey and Cecilia Sayad (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2015), pp. 61-78.   

Nostalgia for the Liberal Hour: Talkin’ ‘Bout The Horizons of Norman Jewison’s Generation,” Canadian Journal of Film Studies  21.2 (2012): 115-139. 

“‘The Rivers of Zimbabwe Will Run Red with Blood’: Enoch Powell and the Post-Imperial Nostalgia of the Monday Club,” Journal of Southern African Studies 37.4 (2011): 731-745. 

Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs (New York: Routledge, 2010).

Lennox Lewis and Black Atlantic Politics: The Hard Sell,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues 33.1 (2009): 275-298.

Teaching (2022-2023)
BLCK 480 Special Topics: Black Atlantic Studies

Recent and Current Supervision
Co-supervisor, Diane Roberts, “Exile and Recovery in African and Indigenous Communities,” Interdisciplinary Studies, Concordia University. 

Co-supervisor. William Leonard Felepchuk, “Unearthing Racial Necrogeographies in Settler Colonies: The Life and Death of Burial Places in Ontario and Virginia,” Indigenous and Canadian Studies, Carleton University. 

Supervisor. Nadine Powell, “Migration, Food and belonging: Understanding Cultures through Foodways of the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada,” Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University. 

Co-supervisor, Liliane Braga. “Afrodiasporic Cinematographies: Images and Narratives Under Regimes of Orality,” Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), 2018.  

Supervisor. Ayaan Ismail, “Black Students and the World University Services of Canada Student Refugee Program,” Migration and Diaspora Studies, Carleton University. 

Co-supervisor. Jenn Ko, “Negotiating ‘Chineseness’ in Diaspora: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Memory in Hong Kong and the Greater Toronto Area, 1960-2018,” History, Carleton University, 2018.  

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,” Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, 2016. 

Second Reader, Valerie K. Wood, “Illustrating Adoption: The Making of Vee In Between,” Public History, Carleton University, 2021.

Second Reader, Emma Awe, “Queer Longing: A History of Gladys Bentley’s Iconography,” Public History, Carleton University, 2021. 

Second Reader, Emily Hersey, “A New Normal for Ethnography? Decolonial Instagram during COVID-19 and #BLM,” Sociology and Anthropology and Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, 2020. 
Winner of the Outstanding Graduating Student Award from CASCA, the Canadian Anthropology Society.