Professor McDaniel joined Herron as a faculty member in 2003. He has served Herron as an associate dean (2005–current), director of Graduate Programs (2008–13), interim chair of Visual Communications (2010–11), and chair of Fine Arts (2003–05). McDaniel’s publications include volumes co-authored with Jean Robertson: Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 (Oxford) with translations into Chinese and Korean, Spellbound: Rethinking the Alphabet (Intellect, U.K./distributed Univ. of Chicago Press, U.S.), and Painting as a Language: Materials, Techniques, Form, Content (Cengage) with translation into Chinese. Other publications include articles and artworks in New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Art Journal, Oxford Art Online, Midwest Quarterly: A Journal of Contemporary Thought, Encyclopedia of American Art (Oxford), and others. His visual art has been featured in over twenty solo and two-person exhibitions, and numerous group exhibitions. Past positions include serving as professor of Art at Indiana State University, director of Programs at Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art, and curator of Performing Arts at John Michael Kohler Arts Center. With Jean Robertson, McDaniel was founding co-director of the Southern Ohio Museum. His art, scholarship, and curatorial activities have been supported by grants from National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Ohio Arts Council, Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities, and funded residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Millay Colony for the Arts. His experimental novel, The Story of E, was completed with support from IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute.
A primary focus throughout McDaniel’s career is exploring relationships of visual and verbal modes of expressive communication. Current research interests center on the development of alternative approaches to the alphabet.