Dr. Meghelli received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution, he was a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) and the Paris Institute of Political Science (also known as "Sciences Po," located in Paris, France).
Dr. Meghelli's research, teaching, and curatorial work has focused on American and international social movements, cultural/musical history, urban history, and community history. He is currently leading an exhibition and research project entitled "A Right to the City" which explores the history (and contemporary dynamics) of neighborhood change and neighborhood activism in Washington, DC.
Dr. Meghelli is the co-author of The Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness (2006) (with James G. Spady and H. Samy Alim), co-editor of New Perspectives on the History of Marcus Garvey, the U.N.I.A., and the African Diaspora (2011), and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, Black Arts Quarterly, and The Western Journal of Black Studies, among other places. He is currently at work on a book entitled Between New York and Paris: A Transatlantic History of Hip Hop,
He has presented his research at the Annual Meetings of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the American Studies Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, and has been invited to speak at universities around the country and internationally. He is a Board Member of the Marcus Garvey Foundation (a fifty-year old non-profit educational organization), has served as a consultant for documentary film and historical exhibitions, and has directed community history projects in Philadelphia, PA and New York City.