University of Rochester

Daniel H. Borus

Position: Professor

Field: American History

Specialty: U.S. cultural and intellectual history

Education: PhD, University of Virginia, 1985

Contact Info

452 Rush Rhees Library
Dept. of History
Rochester, NY 14627-0070

phone: 585.275.9356
fax: 585.756.4425

Daniel Borus

Fields of Interest:

My principal area of interest is how Americans forged cultural and intellectual responses to a social life shaped by a dynamic capitalism. I have investigated the links between a form of expressive culture (literary realism and naturalism) and industrial life in Writing Realism: Howells, James, and Norris in the Mass Market. My next book, Twentieth-Century Multiplicity: American Thought and Culture, 1900 − 1920, explored the ways in which many Americans at the beginning of the twentieth-century rejected or could not accept the validity of long-standing unifying synthesis. In the a wide variety of discourses and practices, I maintained, the impetus for cultural and intellectual life came from those who stressed the many, the particular, and the local as a central assumption in explanation and interpretation. In These United States, a collection of articles written expressly for The Nation in the 1920s which I edited and for which I wrote an introduction, I was concerned to understand how Americans understood diversity in the face of what were thought to be overwhelming forces of standardization and uniformity of mass culture and a national market.


In my next project, I will take those intellectual concerns to a later period. With Casey Blake (Columbia) and Howard Brick (Michigan), I will write the last uncompleted volume in the Roman & Littlefied series, which will investigate the immediate post-World War II era. When that project is finished, I will turn my attention to a history of dream interpretation in the United States

Graduate Fields:

I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Graduate Overview" page in the Graduate Handbook.

Teaching Field:
American History II

Research Fields:
History of Psychology (Transnational)
US Intellectual History

I will not be accepting students for admission in Fall 2015.

Courses Offered:

  • HIS 100: Gateway to History
  • HIS 160: US I
  • HIS 161: US II
  • HIS 260: Progressive America
  • HIS 334W/434: America and the World II
  • HIS 382W/482: Topics in 20th Century American Cultural History - 20th Century Multiplicity
  • HIS 511: Readings in Nineteenth-Century American Intellectual History
  • HIS 512: Readings in Nineteenth-Century American Intellectual History

Representative Publications: