Michael J. Kramer

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Digital History/Humanities

Acting Director, Digital Liberal Arts Initiative @ Middlebury College

 work(802) 443-5617
 Tu 10-noon or by appointment
 Davis Family Library 215

Michael J. Kramer works at the intersection of historical scholarship, cultural criticism, the arts, and digital technology. He is the author of The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback, 2017). His current book project, This Machine Kills Fascists, explores the relationship between technology and tradition in the US folk music movement from the early twentieth century to the present. It is linked to a digital history project about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which took place annually on the University of California campus between 1958 and 1970, and Kramer is also is engaged in more technical digital history research on image sonification for historical interpretationmachine-learning sound analysis softwaredeep mapping, and models for global digital humanities collaboration. He teaches history, American studies, and digital humanities at Middlebury College, where he is Acting Director of the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative. He previously taught at Northwestern University, where he co-founded NUDHL, the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory and helped to design the Graduate Engagement Opportunities program at Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. He has also worked as an editor at the website of the New York Times and in the Design, Publishing, and New Media Department at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as well as served as a dance and theater dramaturg. He has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, First of the Month, The National Memo, The Point, Theater, and Newsdayand he blogs at Culture Rover and Issues in Digital History. His website is michaeljkramer.net.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST 0284 / FMMC 0284 - Cultural History of Computer      

The Computerized Society: A Cultural History of the Computer Since WWII
What theorist Jean-Francois Lyotard called “the computerized society” turns out to be about far more than just machines. Technological developments are inextricably linked to other factors: culture, politics, economics, war, identity, race, class, gender, the law, region. In this course we will take an American studies approach to the evolution of the modern computer to grasp its history—and therefore its present significance. Students will encounter a wide range of sources and complete three analytic essays that begin with creative prompts to generate compelling historical interpretations of technology and its contextualized importance in America and the world. 3 hrs. lect. AMR HIS NOR SOC

Fall 2018

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INTD 0286 - Digitizing Folk Music History      

Digital Research Methods: Digitizing Folk Music History
Like Bob Dylan "going electric" in 1965, we pivot between technology and tradition in this course as we use tactics of digital analysis to investigate the U.S. folk music revival, from its nineteenth-century origins, to the 1960s "Great Folk Scare,” to more recent folk revivalism. In this course we will acquire digital skills and fluencies as we think more deeply about music, culture, politics, economics, race, gender, class, and history itself. We will read primary and secondary sources, listen to Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and others, and we will watch documentary and fictional films. No prior digital, musical, or historical training required. 3 hrs. lect. AMR HIS NOR SOC

Spring 2019

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MUSC 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Admission by approval. Please consult published departmental guidelines and paragraph below.

Winter 2019, Winter 2020

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