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College Appoints New Associate Director of Digital Liberal Arts

January 8, 2018

Michael J. Kramer has been hired as associate director of digital liberal arts/professor of the practice. Photo: Jill Brazel

    MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College has appointed Michael J. Kramer to serve as associate director of digital liberal arts/professor of the practice, a newly created faculty position. Kramer cofounded the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory and served there as visiting assistant professor, teaching courses in American studies, digital humanities, and civic engagement. The term position begins January 8 and will run through June 2021.

    “I am delighted to welcome Michael to Middlebury,” said Jason Mittell, professor of film and media culture and faculty director of the Digital Liberal Arts initiative. “He brings an excellent blend of teaching and scholarship that show the rich potential of the digital liberal arts.”

    Kramer is the author of The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback, 2017). His current research explores the relationship between technology and tradition in the U.S. folk music revival from the early 20th century to the present, including a multimodal digital history project about the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which took place annually on the University of California-Berkeley campus between 1958 and 1970.

    Kramer will play a key role in leading Middlebury’s Digital Liberal Arts (DLA) initiative, including administration, teaching, and collaborative research. He will support faculty who are actively developing digital methods courses and capstone projects within American studies, film and media culture, history, and sociology. Reporting to Dean for Faculty Development and Research Jim Ralph, Kramer will be situated at the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research at Davis Family Library.

    “We’re excited to see how Michael will build on the great creative work our faculty and students have produced over the past four years through the DLA,” said Dean Ralph.

    Middlebury launched the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative in 2014 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The campuswide program was designed to train and support faculty in implementing digital projects in their teaching and scholarship while also allowing students and faculty to collaborate on new research models and course content. Nearly 30 projects have been completed, or are in progress, through support from the DLA.