Shawn McDaniel

Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity
Shawn McDaniel

Research & Practice Areas

Caribbean, Latin American, and Latinx literary and cultural studies; Cuban diasporic print, visual, and sonic cultures; race, gender, and sexuality in the Americas; Modernismo; Intellectual history; Scottish Gaelic diasporic cultural production (Canada, United States, the Caribbean, South America)


Shawn McDaniel is Associate Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity and Director of Graduate Studies for ASE.

Intersecting Caribbean, Latin American, and Latinx literary and cultural studies and intellectual history, his research and pedagogy explore subjectivity, power, aesthetics, modernism, race, gender, sexuality, and dissidence in print, visual, and sonic cultures of the Americas from the nineteenth century to the present.

His first book, Centenary Subjects: Race, Reason, and Rupture in the Americas (Vanderbilt University Press, 2021), analyzes how overlooked racial anxieties, epistemological and spiritual fissures, and iconoclastic agendas structure, and at times smother the ambiguous contours of arielismo—one of the most influential cultural paradigms, idealistic pedagogies, and anti-imperialist movements in early twentieth-century Latin America. It proposes a new reading of the arielista essayistic archive through the analytic of centenary subjects in order to highlight tensions that trouble the transcendent aura of youth subject formation in literature, culture, politics, and philosophy in the Americas.

Another project in progress, Cuban Chic: Queer Deco and Diasporic Modernism in New York, examines the graphic, literary, performative, sartorial, and sonic cultures of cubanidad in New York, as well as their inter-American routes through Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Mérida, Veracruz, and Los Angeles between the 1890s and the 1960s. It investigates how Cuban and Cuban American writers, artists, fashion critics, models, actors, and magicians used their liminal positionalities as ambiguous race, gender, and queer subjects to slip in and out of American literature, photography, art, fashion, film, television, music, radio, and advertising in both covert and spectacular ways. 

Prior to joining the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, he was Assistant Professor of Romance Studies and Latina/o Studies and the Emerson-Krapels Faculty Fellow at Cornell University.


  • Ph.D. Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2013
    • Department of Romance Studies, Cornell University, 2013-2016
  • Book

    • McDaniel, S. (2021). Centenary Subjects: Race, Reason, and Rupture in the Americas. Vanderbilt University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • McDaniel, S. (2021). “To Be, or To Become? On Reading and Recognition”. The Scholar as Human.
    • McDaniel, S. (2019). “De discípulo rubendariano a la encarnación modernista: Count François G. de Cisneros y la pose aristocrática”. Actas Congreso Internacional Rubén Darío.
    • McDaniel, S. (2018). “Rodó en Nueva York”. Lecturas contemporáneas de José Enrique Rodó. pp. 349-359.

    Book Review

    • McDaniel, S. (2020). The Dinner at Gonfarone’s: Salomón de la Selva and His Pan-American Project in Nueva York, 1915-1919, by Peter Hulme. Transmodernity. pp. 173-175.
    • McDaniel, S. (2016). Miedo negro, poder blanco en la Cuba colonial, by Jorge Camacho. Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos. pp. 453-455.

    Journal Article

    • McDaniel, S. (2018). “Race and the Aesthetics of Frivolity in the Work of Count François G. de Cisneros”. Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. Vol. 52 (1), pp. 3-25.
    • McDaniel, S. (2015). “Votre América: Blackness and Pan-Latinism in Les démocraties latines de l’Amérique”. Revista Hispánica Moderna. Vol. 68 (2), pp. 127-145.
    • McDaniel, S. (2014). “La Revista de Cayo Hueso (1897) como arbitraje del anticolonialismo en Cuba: intervenciones crítico-literarias entre Nueva York, la Florida y Perú”. La Habana Elegante. Vol. 56.
    • McDaniel, S. (2012). “Arielista Elitism and Geopolitical Exigencies in Post-War Colombia, 1902-1910”. Ciberletras. Vol. 29, pp. 47-67.
    • McDaniel, S. (2011). “Julián del Casal en Las Tres Américas (1893-1896) de Nueva York: Francisco García Cisneros y el rescate del decadentismo casaliano”. La Habana Elegante. Vol. 50.