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Dallas Donnell

Assistant Professor, Ph.D. American Studies

Pronouns: he/him/his

Areas of Interest

  • African American Studies
  • Black popular music and culture
  • Black radicalism
  • Theories of social death

Contact Information


About Dallas Donnell 

Dallas Donnell is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, with a particular focus in African American Studies, at Cal Poly. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a B.A. in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Chicago. 

Prior to embarking on a career in academia, Donnell spent eight years doing communications and organizing work for a variety of racial and social justice organizations, including the Black Youth Project, Color of Change, and ROC United. Broadly put, Donnell's scholarship explores the relationship between Black popular music and antiblack violence, and the stakes of Black creative expression in an antiblack world. Prior to joining the Ethnic Studies Department at Cal Poly, Donnell was a Mellon Dissertation Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University. He is the author of “The Political Resonances of Hip-hop and Spoken Word” in The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry and Politics since 1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2023).


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