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Daniel Matlin came to King’s in 2012 as Lecturer in the History of the United States of America since 1865. Previously he studied for his BA (2003), MPhil (2004) and PhD (2009) in History at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He was also the A. H. Lloyd Research Fellow at Christ’s and Director of Studies at the Centre for History and Economics at King’s College, Cambridge.

After leaving Cambridge he spent two years as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London. His doctoral research on African-American intellectuals in the 1960s was supervised by Professor Michael O’Brien, who helped to develop his passion for jazz into a broader fascination with American History.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • American intellectual and cultural history
  • The history of ideas of race
  • The American civil rights and black power movements
  • Pan-Africanism and black diasporic identities
  • The history of jazz
  • Urban history, particularly the history of Harlem and New York City

Daniel Matlin’s research centres on the relationship between race and intellectual life in the United States during the twentieth century. He is interested in the ways in which the ongoing construction of race has shaped the experience of being an intellectual in America, and also in the ways in which American intellectuals have shaped the meanings attached to race, both in specialised fields of knowledge and in American culture at large.

His book On the Corner: African-American Intellectuals and the Urban Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2013) explores the role which African-American intellectuals played during the 1960s and early 1970s as interpreters of black urban life to various white American publics. His current research concerns the intellectual history of Harlem during the twentieth century and the relationships between race, place and intellectual life. He also has related interests in urban history and the histories of jazz, gender ideologies, Pan-Africanism and black diasporic identities.

Daniel Matlin would particularly welcome applications from students who wish to work on: 

  • African-American history since 1865, including the civil rights and black power movements
  • The history of black nationalist and Pan-Africanist thought in the United States
  • Twentieth-century American cultural and intellectual history
  • The history of jazz

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Expertise and Engagement

Daniel Matlin is a co-convenor of the American History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and a member of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) and the British Association for American Studies (BAAS).

He has spoken at public events at the National Theatre and the Black Cultural Archives and has been a guest lecturer on the black power movement at the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s summer seminar for American high school History teachers. He has also peer-reviewed article submissions for the Historical Journal, Atlantic Studies and Patterns of Prejudice. His writing has also appeared in the GuardianTimes Higher Education and the Literary Review.