Ben Urwand is a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. In addition to his work as a historian, Ben is the singer and songwriter of the indie rock band The Attachments and of the children’s band The Ben and Michael Band.
Please direct all inquiries about rights, reprints, and appearances to the Wylie Agency.
To contact Ben about anything else, please email him at urwand at fas dot harvard dot edu.
Ben tweets @benurwand.
Ben Urwand was born in Sydney, Australia in 1977. He is the son of Jewish immigrants: his father was forced to leave Cairo, Egypt in 1956, and his mother fled Budapest, Hungary the same year. Ben attended Sydney Grammar, a prestigious boys’ school, where he first discovered his passion for history: he travelled to Canberra and interviewed Aboriginal protestors outside the Old Parliament House, and he wrote a major essay on Aboriginal land rights and reparations.
Ben then attended the University of Sydney, where he attained First Class Honors and won the prize for best history thesis for his work on Steven Spielberg and Schindler’s List. He also ventured into the Australian film industry in these years, working at Fox Studios Australia, and after he completed his B.A., he worked as a production assistant for Fox Television Australia for nearly a year.
Ben intended to pursue a career in the film industry, but he was admitted to the PhD program in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago and left Australia in 2000. He wrote an M.A. thesis on the representation of African-Americans in early cinema. He then transferred to the History program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he wrote his dissertation on Hollywood’s dealings with Nazi Germany.
In addition to his work as a historian, Ben spent five years as a professional musician in the Bay Area. Throughout his time at Berkeley, he was the lead singer and songwriter for two bands – The Attachments, a popular indie rock band in San Francisco and The Ben and Michael Band, a children’s band. The Attachments played sold-out shows at Bottom of the Hill, Café Du Nord, and The Rickshaw Stop alongside national touring bands; their first album was reviewed in The Believer and Gap approached them about participating in a national ad campaign.
Ben was elected a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows in 2011, and he will hold this position until 2014. While at Harvard, he was awarded a prestigious Milton Grant, which enabled him to complete his research for The Collaboration, which Harvard University Press will publish in October 2013.