Daniel McNeil is an award-winning writer and Professor whose work brings together History, Diaspora Studies, Cultural Studies, and other fields of inquiry to map the movement of people and ideas within, across, against and outside the nation-state. Following the publication of McNeil’s Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic – a book that disrupts the regimes of representation that have framed ‘mixed-race’ subjects as pathological objects and ‘post-racial’ icons – he was appointed the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Visiting Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies at DePaul University. This position was created to honour the crusading journalism of Ida B. Wells-Barnett and support intellectuals with a proven track record of research excellence in African and Black Diaspora Studies.
He joined Carleton University in 2014 as its strategic hire in Migration and Diaspora Studies and an Associate Professor in History. In 2015 and 2018, he received Research Awards from Carleton for building sustained connections across the university and its local, national, and international partners. He is currently cross-appointed with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Institute of African Studies, and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture.
In 2018-19, McNeil was a Visiting Professor in the Department of the Humanities and Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University in Canada. In 2019-20, he was the inaugural holder of the Public Humanities Faculty Fellowship at the University of Toronto. This Mellon-funded position 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.
McNeil has published articles and essays in a variety of fields (including, but not limited to, Affect Studies, Afropessimism, Black Atlantic Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, Critical Multiculturalism Studies, Critical Migration Studies, Film Studies, and Postcolonial Studies). His creative nonfiction has also been published widely in leading journals of drama, literary nonfiction, and social justice.
He is currently completing three research projects. The first delves beneath the media headlines about a ‘migration crisis,’ Brexit, Trump and other events and spectacles that have been linked to the intensification and proliferation of stereotypes and migrants and refugees since 2015. One of its notable outputs is Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture, an edited collection that equips readers with new methodologies, keywords and collaborative research tools 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.
The second demonstrates how multiculturalism has been configured as banal across a range of disciplines and fields of inquiry. To grapple with an intriguing mix of academic credentialism and anti-intellectualism that can confine and define the study of immigration, multiculturalism and race relations, McNeil has coined the term ‘shy elitism.’
The third examines the much maligned and misunderstood work of Black cultural critics who came of age in the break between a civil rights era and a post-civil rights era in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It pays particular attention to the language and style of writers who have been described as America’s most notorious film critic and Britain’s most influential intellectual.