Centered on literature as a cultural product, Daniel’s scholarship is interdisciplinary and wide-ranging.

Drawing on ecocriticism and political philosophy, his various work is tied together by questions of how literature brings into being unique visions of “the good life” and the ethics of violence, work, and nature.


His dissertation examines 19th Century American narratives of farming and farm work to clarify the roots of the political and environmental ethic of agrarianism. Though at times also twisted and used for exploitation that agrarian ethic has also been a source of encouragement and empowerment to the politically marginalized: women, freed black slaves, immigrants, and Native Americans.


Daniel has contributed to a several public digital humanities projects, most notably Poetry from the Plains, funded by Humanities Nebraska, as well as the Lost Writers of the Plains, a Nebraska Educational Television project. His essay on Anarchism and woodworking was published in Full Stop Quarterly.


Daniel is involved in ongoing efforts to promote and study the potential for ecotourism and conservation on the Great Plains, and collaboration with partners in Namibia.


In addition to serving as the “captain” of the Great Plains grad fellows, Daniel is an active member several interdisciplinary working groups at UNL: Place StudiesNineteenth-Century Studies, the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, the Poetry from the Plains website, and the Watershed blog.