Black Studies is delighted to welcome Dr. Vanessa Thompson and Dr. Daniel McNeil to Queen’s University as Queen’s National Scholars! Dr. McNeil has formally started his position and will begin teaching in the fall; Dr. Thompson begins January 2022. They will develop and extend interdisciplinary research programs that attend to abolition and solidarity building in the diaspora, cultural production, critical multiculturalism, and anti-colonial thought. Drs. Thompson and McNeil will contribute to the administration of the Minor in Black Studies and develop transnational and cross-national networks, mentorship hubs, and courses in global black studies.

Vanessa ThompsonVanessa E. Thompson researches in the areas of black studies, critical racism and migration studies, gender studies, anticolonial theories, and critical ethnographies. She is particularly interested in transnational black urban and social movements, struggles against anti-black state violence and policing as well as abolition geographies and socialities.

Vanessa received her PhD from Goethe University Frankfurt Germany in 2017. She was a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in Comparative Social and Cultural Anthropology at European University Viadrina (2020-2021) and a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Sociology at Goethe University Frankfurt (2017-2020). From 2016-2017, she was a fellow at the Department of Black Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.

Her forthcoming book, Solidarities in Black: Anti-Black Racism and the Struggle beyond Recognition in Paris (forthcoming with Manchester University Press) engages with black urban resistances against state racism as well as the formation of (transnational) solidarities, liminal infrastructures and abolition geographies in France. Vanessa is also the co-editor of Abolition. A Reader (Abolitionismus. Ein Reader (under contract with Suhrkamp) and a bilingual special issue on Black Feminism(s) (Femina Politica, 2021).

Beyond the academy, her work has been published in feminist and anti-racist magazines as well as in public media. Vanessa continues to collaborate with activist collectives in Europe as well as transnational abolitionist movements.

Daniel McNeilDaniel McNeil’s teaching and scholarship bring together History, Cultural Studies, Diaspora Studies, and cognate fields of inquiry to explore the complexities of global Black communities.

After receiving his Ph.D. in History from the University of Toronto in 2007, Daniel was a Lecturer in Black and Minority Studies at the University of Hull (2007-10) and a Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University (2010-12). From 2012-14 he was the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Visiting Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University in Chicago.

He returned to Canada in 2014 as an Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Migration and Diaspora Studies Initiative at Carleton University. In 2018-19, he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities and Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University. In 2019-20, he was the inaugural Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow at the University of Toronto.

Daniel is the author of Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic (Routledge, 2010) and a co-editor of Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). His forthcoming publications include a chapter on Black intellectual traditions in Unsettling the Great White North (University of Toronto Press, 2021), a collection of essays edited by Michele Johnson and Funké Aladejebi that highlights the diverse experiences of persons of African descent within the chronicles of Canada’s past, and articles on Black cultural criticism and “multicultural snake oil” in issue 46.3 of the Canadian Journal of Communication.

Thinking While Black, his book about the political aspirations and cultural achievements 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 2022.