Hot Topic: Crisis in Ferguson, Missouri

Posted in Articles, Canada, United States on 2014-12-03 16:29Z by Steven

Hot Topic: Crisis in Ferguson, Missouri

Carleton Newsroom
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Unrest is spreading in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri. A Carleton expert is available to discuss many aspects of the situation.

Daniel McNeil
Associate professor in the Department of History and the Institute of African Studies
Phone: 613-520-2600 Ext.2835

McNeil’s research focuses on the cultural history of areas bordering the Atlantic Ocean during the 20th and 21st centuries. His publications include Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs. He is regularly invited to share his research about media, culture and society with academic, governmental and non-governmental organizations around the world…

Read the entire press release here.

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Radical Love: A Transatlantic Dialogue about Race and Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2014-06-23 01:54Z by Steven

Radical Love: A Transatlantic Dialogue about Race and Mixed Race

Asian American Literary Review
Volume 4, Issue 2, Pandora’s Box (2013)
pages 15-26

Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Leanne Taylor, Assistant Professor of Education
Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Boy meets girl. Boy makes the girl laugh with some playful jibes about his English accent and her “cynical Canadian” response to a talk about radical love in America. Girl gives boy a lingering, flirtatious handshake. Boy resists the urge to say, “this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

This is a transatlantic love story informed by the neurotic heroes of the Facebook era as much as the stoic men of 1940s Hollywood or the stubborn women of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The boy displays similar levels of social awkwardness and ambition to the character of Marc Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, in The Social Network. Yet he has a modicum of charm and is able to craft some touching emails to the girl when he returns to England. The girl is far more interesting than any of the female characters in The Social Network and sparks back some funny Facebook messages from Canada. After reconnecting in Toronto in January 2011, they start to communicate via Blackberry instant messenger and send each other letters, books and poetry. Their conversations provide a revealing glimpse into the politics and poetics of mixed race relationships. For whereas the transracial, transdisciplinary and transnational field of mixed race studies tends to focus on the love between “interracial couples” and their children, their romantic back and forth offers a revealing glimpse into the love between two people defined as mixed race.

Read the entire article here.

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Obama and the Oscars: Lights, Camera, Nationalism! A Symposium About The “Obama Effect” On Film Culture

Posted in Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-15 22:53Z by Steven

Obama and the Oscars: Lights, Camera, Nationalism! A Symposium About The “Obama Effect” On Film Culture

DePaul University
Richardson Library
Rosati Room 300
2350 North Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
Friday, 2014-02-28, 16:00-19:00 CST (Local Time)

Moderated by:

Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies
DePaul University


George Elliott Clarke, Associate Professor of English
University of Toronto and Harvard University

Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Northwestern University

Charles Coleman, Film Programmer
Facets Cinémathèque, Chicago, Illinois

Armond White, Editor and Film Critic
City Arts, New York, New York

During the run up to the 2014 Oscars, film producers and executives have claimed that the election and re-election of President Barack Obama has erased racial lines and created a better country. They have also linked the ‘Obama effect’ to a spate of daring films about slavery and racial discrimination in the American past. This symposium brings together leading academics, critics, and film programmers to discuss the production, distribution and marketing of films in the age of Obama, as well as the ways in which Oscar-nominated films address the history of America and the Atlantic world.

Free and open to the public.

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The JCMRS inaugural issue will be released Summer, 2013

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2013-03-18 03:35Z by Steven

The JCMRS inaugural issue will be released on Summer, 2013

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
c/o Department of Sociology
SSMS Room 3005
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California  93106-9430

The Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS) is a peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to developing the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) through rigorous scholarship. Launched in 2011, it is the first academic journal explicitly focused on Critical Mixed Race Studies.

JCMRS is transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational in focus and emphasizes the critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions and constructions of ‘race.’ JCMRS emphasizes the constructed nature and thus mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. JCMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.

Sponsored by University of California, Santa Barbara’s Sociology Department, JCMRS is hosted on the eScholarship Repository, which is part of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library. JCMRS functions as an open-access forum for critical mixed race studies scholars and will be available without cost to anyone with access to the Internet.

Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2013 will include:


  1. “Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States”—Winthrop Jordan edited by Paul Spickard
  2. “Retheorizing the Relationship Between New Mestizaje and New Multiraciality as Mixed Race Identity Models”—Jessie Turner
  3. “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation,” Keynote Address presented at the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, November 5, 2010, DePaul UniversityAndrew Jolivétte
  4. “Only the News We Want to Print”—Rainier Spencer
  5. “The Current State of Multiracial Discourse”—Molly McKibbin
  6. “Slimy Subjects and Neoliberal Goods”—Daniel McNeil

Editorial Board

Founding Editors: G. Reginald Daniel, Wei Ming Dariotis, Laura Kina, Maria P. P. Root, and Paul Spickard

Editor-in-Chief: G. Reginald Daniel

Managing Editors: Wei Ming Dariotis and Laura Kina

Editorial Review Board: Stanley R. Bailey, Mary C. Beltrán, David Brunsma, Greg Carter, Kimberly McClain DaCosta, Michele Elam, Camilla Fojas, Peter Fry, Kip Fulbeck, Rudy Guevarra, Velina Hasu Houston, Kevin R. Johnson, Andrew Jolivette, Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Laura A. Lewis, Kristen A. Renn, Maria P. P. Root, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, Gary B. Nash, Kent A. Ono, Rita Simon, Miri Song, Rainier Spencer, Michael Thornton, Peter Wade, France Winddance Twine, Teresa Williams-León, and Naomi Zack

For more information, click here.

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While Goldberg and Gilroy have alluded to mixed-race metaphors in their recent work, Lewis Gordon has written more extensively about the attempts to establish ‘critical’ mixed-race studies…

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2012-07-05 23:08Z by Steven

While Goldberg and Gilroy have alluded to mixed-race metaphors in their recent work, Lewis Gordon has written more extensively about the attempts to establish ‘critical’ mixed-race studies. Reflecting on the historical discrimination and colourism in an anti-black world, Gordon has argued that it is understandable – if not morally justifiable – for working-class individuals and darker-skinned individuals to be distrustful of middle-class individuals and lighter-skinned individuals who claim to be progressive. Gordon’s use of slime to describe the aims of a wide variety of mixed-race activists and ‘sensitive’ scholars – who talk politely about racial transcendence while denying the facticity of their privileged position in an anti-black world – is a particularly interesting term since it evokes animalistic behaviour, infantile play, salesmen pitching new, hip commodities for a polyethnic culture. It also offers a transracial, transdisciplinary and transnational engagement with Francophone theory. Aside from adapting Fanon’s critique of European man, Gordon’s analysis of multiracial celebration draws on Sartre’s ontology of slime (a sticky, viscoelastic material that resists shear flow and strain linearly with time when a stress is applied,) and reminds us of Barthes’s famous description of neither-norism (a ‘mythological figure which consists in stating two opposites and balancing the one by the other so as to reject them both… It is on the whole a bourgeois figure, for it relates to a modern form of liberalism… one flees from intolerable reality … one no longer needs to choose, but only to endorse.’)

Daniel McNeil, “‘Mixture is a Neoliberal Good’: Mixed-Race Metaphors and Post-Racial Masks,” Darkmatter, Volume 9, Issue 1, (Post-Racial Imaginaries), July 2, 2012.

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‘Mixture is a Neoliberal Good’: Mixed-Race Metaphors and Post-Racial Masks

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy on 2012-07-03 17:04Z by Steven

‘Mixture is a Neoliberal Good’: Mixed-Race Metaphors and Post-Racial Masks

darkmatter: in the ruins of imperial culture
ISSN 2041-3254
Post-Racial Imaginaries [9.1] (2012-07-02)

Daniel McNeil, Associate Professor of History, Migration and Diaspora Studies
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

This fight for democracy against the oppression of mankind will slowly leave the confusion of neo-liberal universalism to emerge, sometimes laboriously, as a claim to nationhood. It so happens that the unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Many conservative commentators reacted to the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 with platitudes about the clash of civilizations. Robert Fulford, a prominent cultural critic for the Canadian National Post, was one of the few to tie a post-9/11 context to the fortieth anniversary of Frantz Fanon’s death. In an article strategically published at the beginning of Black History Month, Fulford claimed that Fanon’s classic texts were invoked and not read, as if The Wretched of the Earth was just another ironic commodity for consumers full of sound and fury who wear images of Malcolm X and Che Guevara without knowing anything about their commitment to human rights. To go further, he maintained that Fanon should be remembered as a ‘poisonous thinker’ who helped usher in a culture of violence and victimization in the West.

Providing a critical alternative to Fulford, activists and scholars marked the fiftieth anniversary of Fanon’s passing with extensive discussions of his impact on social justice movements and intellectual debates about existentialism, phenomenology and psychoanalysis. This short article takes a rather circuitous route to their commentaries on the legacy of Fanon’s explorative, suggestive and provocative work. It argues that the loaded metaphors Fanon used to target ‘half-breed’ translators in the 1950s and 60s have been creatively adapted by transnational intellectuals in their critique of forms of neoliberal multiculturalism that privilege the multiracial American citizen as a subject more universal and legitimate than even the multicultural world citizen.

The article revolves around three sections and three conceptual metaphors in its attempts to address an oft-repeated element of Fanon’s work that has rarely been the subject of extended analysis or critical inquiry. The first section introduces three popular metaphors about mixed-race objects and ‘racial bridges’ that Fanon used to invoke the threat of bestial, immature and consumerist Others – metaphors that were not swept away by the winds of change in the 1960s, or the decline and fall of Black internationalist movements in the 1970s. It contends that similar metaphors and similes continue to frame representations of mixed-race individuals that emerged after the neoliberal revolution of the 1970s and 80s called for ‘new’ multicultural identities to replace ‘old-fashioned’ notions of racial essences. The second section documents how intellectuals such as David Theo Goldberg, Paul Gilroy and Lewis Gordon have engaged with Fanon and mixed-race metaphors in order to critique the slyness of neoliberal agents in the age of Obama. The third and final section also addresses three writers – Jared Sexton, Paul Spickard and Mark Anthony Neal – who have developed work on multiracial national subjects in the United States. The short conclusion contends that Sexton’s Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism avoids some of the pitfalls of national consciousness evident in the work of Spickard and Neal – and engages with the diasporic work of Fanon and ‘Fanon’s children’ in order to challenge multiracial, and post-racial, environments that deny the legitimacy of African American anger. In short, it uses Sexton’s vision of a global African American studies to illuminate some of the discordant affinities between more insular visions of ethnic American studies and the cultural project of neoliberal multiculturalism in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries…

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed heritage voices – Multiple identities, varied experiences, diverse views

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Social Work, United Kingdom on 2012-05-18 15:30Z by Steven

Mixed heritage voices – Multiple identities, varied experiences, diverse views

British Association for Adoption & Fostering
Woburn House Conference Centre
20 Tavistock Square
London WC1H 9HQ
2012-11-29, 10:00-16:00Z

One in ten people in the UK define themselves as mixed heritage, and it seems that young people think it is ‘cool’ to be ‘mixed’. But what meaning do young people and their families give to their mixed heritage identities and how do these identities develop in mixed adoptive and foster care families?

The profiles of children in ‘Be My Parent’ (BAAF’s family finding service) and the Adoption Register demonstrate the multiple and complex ethnicities of children waiting for placements and this brings challenges to practitioners making decisions for mixed heritage children in the public care system. There are also challenges for adoptive parents and foster carers who need to value and promote the child’s heritage and help them achieve a positive identity, alongside an ability to cope with racism to make their way in the world.

This conference will bring together mixed heritage young people, families and researchers to share their experiences and perspectives on identity, and will look at the implications of these issues for practice.


  • to understand the experiences of mixed heritage children, young people and their families
  • to identify how adoptive parents and foster carers might help their mixed heritage child develop their identities
  • to explore how practitioners can make better decisions for mixed heritage children in the public care system

Chair & Speakers

  • Professor Ann Phoenix, Co-Director, Thomas Coram, Research Unit (Invited)
  • Dr. Suki Ali, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Dr. Vicki Harman, Lecturer, Centre for Criminology & Sociology, University of Royal Holloway
  • Dr. Daniel McNeil, Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Dr. Fiona Peters, Consultant Perspectives from Adoptive Parents & Foster Carers, Sheffield City Council

Who should attend

Children’s services social workers and managers, family placement practitioners, independent reviewing officers, decision-makers, panel members, health and education professionals, youth services, CAFCASS children’s guardians, social work students, adopted adults, adoptive parents and foster carers.

For more information, click here.

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Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs

Posted in Books, Canada, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy, United Kingdom, United States on 2012-04-29 17:10Z by Steven

Sex and Race in the Black Atlantic: Mulatto Devils and Multiracial Messiahs

Routledge: Routledge Studies on African and Black Diaspora
204 pages
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-87226-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-89391-6
eBook ISBN: 978-0-203-85736-6

Daniel R. McNeil, Associate Professor of History
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This is the first book to place the self-fashioning of mixed-race individuals in the context of a Black Atlantic. Drawing on a wide range of sources and a diverse cast of characters – from the diaries, letters, novels and plays of femme fatales in Congo and the United States to the advertisements, dissertations, oral histories and political speeches of Black Power activists in Canada and the United Kingdom – it gives particular attention to the construction of mixed-race femininity and masculinity during the twentieth century. Its broad scope and historical approach provides readers with a timely rejoinder to academics, artists, journalists and politicians who only use the mixed-race label to depict prophets or delinquents as “new” national icons for the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

  1. New People?
  2. An Individualistic Age?
  3. “Je suis métisse”
  4. “I. Am. A Light Grey Canadian.”
  5. “I’m Black. Not Mixed. Not Canadian. Not African. Just Black”
  6. “Yes, We’re All Individuals!” “I’m Not.”
  7. Conclusion
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‘The rivers of Zimbabwe will run red with blood’: Enoch Powell and the Post-Imperial Nostalgia of the Monday Club

Posted in Africa, Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom on 2011-11-15 20:34Z by Steven

‘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
Volume 37, Issue 4 (December 2011)
pages 731-745
DOI: 10.1080/03057070.2011.613691

Daniel McNeil, Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies
Newcastle University, United Kingdom

In his influential account of post-colonial melancholia, Paul Gilroy suggests that contemporary reports of violence in Southern Africa reveal Britain’s inability to work through its grim history of imperialism and colonialism. Gilroy’s study links recent discussions of tragic Southern African themes to Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech in 1968. However, it does not mention Powell’s critique of Britain’s ‘post-imperial nostalgia’ in a speech about Rhodesia later that year. This is not entirely surprising – the Conservative Central Office did not disseminate Powell’s call for Britons to move beyond sentimental attachment to ‘kith and kin’ in Rhodesia, and Rhodesian sympathisers in the Conservative Monday Club attempted to work around Powell’s refusal to support the ‘White Commonwealth’. Moreover, Powell opposed non-white ‘communalism’ whether he was emphasising the importance of the British Empire to English identity or challenging the ‘harmful myth’ of empire as an English nationalist. Consequently, this article uses archival material relating to the Monday Club and the Rhodesian Ministry of Information in order to document three of the main strands of post-colonial melancholia that apply to Powellite figures on the right who defended (white) minority rule in Rhodesia and/or demonised (non-white) minority cultures in the United Kingdom. The first main strand of post-colonial melancholia involves the belief that racial intermixture will lead to violence and economic instability. The second emphasises the importance of strong white rule to limit racial violence and industrial retardation. The third attempts to contest and then seize the position of victim, alleging one set of standards for the ‘civilised’ West and another set of standards for ‘failed, incompetent and pre-modern states.’

Read or purchase the article here.

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Black devils, white saints and mixedrace femme fatales: Philippa Schuyler and the winds of change

Posted in Africa, Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Women on 2011-10-27 03:12Z by Steven

Black devils, white saints and mixedrace femme fatales: Philippa Schuyler and the winds of change

Critical Arts
Volume 25, Issue 3 (2011)
Special Issue: The Afropessimism Phenomenon
pages 360-376
DOI: 10.1080/02560046.2011.615140

Daniel R. McNeil, Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies
Newcastle University, United Kingdom

This article sheds new light on abstract definitions of Afropessimism by analysing the self-fashioning of Philippa Schuyler in southern and central Africa during the Cold War. Schuyler had achieved prominence as an African-American child prodigy in the 1930s and 40s, and a peripatetic concert pianist in the 1950s, before becoming an ultra-conservative writer who opposed African decolonisation in the 1960s. Rather than relying on the tired cliché of the American tragic mulatto to explain Schuyler’s existential choices, or limiting the scope of her story to an (Afro)Americocentric frame, this article argues that her virulent anti-black racism threatened purportedly respectable forms of colonial whiteness. In doing so it uses a New Historicist approach to contend that pessimistic positions about resistance can be combined with the study of practices that unveil the ironies and limits of power. In addition, it addresses Frantz Fanon’s diagnosis of ‘the woman of colour and the white man,’ and argues that Fanon’s work in the 1950s and 60s can be used to question Schuyler’s desire to 1) condemn the ‘force vitale’ of Negritude, 2) praise white colonialists and 3) adopt an ‘off-white’ identity.

Read or purchase the article here.

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