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Daniel Belgrad’s research focuses on post-World War II American culture. His book, The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America, describes the intellectual and social currents informing the trend toward spontaneous improvisation in American art, music, and literature in the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s that resulted in such movements as Abstract Expressionism, bebop jazz, and Beat poetry. In 2002 he won the Oscar O. Winther Award from the Western Historical Association for his article “Power's Larger Meaning” exploring the use of ecology as a historiographical paradigm. He is currently working on a second book, about cross-cultural influences between the United States and Mexico during the World War II era.
Dr. Belgrad teaches courses on 19th- and 20th-century American cultural and intellectual history, as well as on cultural and literary theory. His graduate-level courses include “Nineteenth-century American arts and letters,” “American culture in the 1970s,” “Theories and Methods of Cultural Studies,” “Cultures of the American Southwest,” and “Wilderness in the American Imagination.” He currently serves as the department Chair.