Drew Daniel studied philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, and then attended Brasenose College, Oxford University on a Marshall scholarship, where he received a second B.A. in English literature.
He returned to Berkeley and entered the graduate program in English, writing a dissertation entitled " 'I Know Not Why I Am So Sad': Melancholy and Knowledge in Early Modern English Portraiture, Drama, and Prose". He was awarded his Ph.D. in the spring of 2007.
His published reviews, catalogue essays, chapters in edited collections and articles in scholarly journals range across Elizabethan drama, political philosophy, contemporary film, contemporary art, and the musical avant-garde. In 2008, Continuum Press published his first book, a study of the English "industrial" music pioneers Throbbing Gristle titled Twenty Jazz Funk Greats. In 2013, Fordham University Press published his second book The Melancholy Assemblage: Affect and Epistemology in the English Renaissance, an attempt to use assemblage theory to understand the social distribution of negative emotion.
In addition to artist's talks, colloquia, and seminars at the Tate Modern, CalArts, UVA, Princeton and Harvard, he has taught courses in Renaissance literature, critical theory and aesthetics at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute before joining the faculty at Hopkins. He is also one half of the electronic duo Matmos.
He recently had a book come out in 2022 from University of Chicago Press, Joy of the Worm: Suicide and Pleasure in Early Modern English Literature.
“The Empedoclean Renaissance”, The Return of Theory in Early Modern Studies, Volume II. Bryan Reynolds, Gary Kuchar, and Paul Cefalu, eds. London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015.
“Corpsepaint as Necro-Minstrelsy: Towards the Re-Occultation of Black Blood”, Melancology: Black Metal Theory and Ecology, Winchester: Zero Books, 2015.
“The Song Remains the Same: Ragnar Kjartansson and the Quality of Quantity”, Parkett, 94, 2014.
“Dagon as Queer Assemblage: Effeminacy and Terror in Samson Agonistes”, Early Modern Cultures, Issue 10, April 28, 2014.
“What is a Digital Sound Object?”, O-Zone: A Journal of Object Oriented Studies, Issue 1: Object/Ecology, Spring 2014.
“Syllogisms and Tears in Timon of Athens”, English Studies, 2013, Vol. 94, No. 7, 799-820.
“’Why Be Something That You’re Not?’: Punk Performance and the Epistemology of Queer Minstrelsy”, Social Text, 116, Vol. 31, No. 3, Fall 2013, 13-35.
“A Political Necrology of God”, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Commons and Collectivities: Renaissance Political Ecologies, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Volume 13.3, Summer 2013, 105-126.
“Marlowe’s Will, Marlowe’s Shall”, Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts, eds. Nicholas Nace, Russ MacDonald, and Travis Williams. New York: Arden, Bloomsbury, January, 2013.
“A Reply to Kellie Robertson: Abusing Aristotle”, Speculative Medievalisms: Discography. Eileen Joy, ed. New York: Punctum Books, 2012.
“Striking the French Match: Jean Bodin, Queen Elizabeth I, and the Occultation of Sovereign Marriage”, Political Theology & Early Modernity. Eds. Graham Hammill and Julia Reinhard Lupton. Chicago: U of Chicago P., 2012.
“’Gasping, But Somehow Still Alive’: The Persistence of Meat is Murder”, Best Music Writing 2011. Ed. Alex Ross. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2011.