Desire, Capital, Deconstruction, and Philosophy
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Desire, Capital, Deconstruction, and Philosophy

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Class Description

 

How and why does the world not work, and how is this dysfunction articulated in visual culture, our ways of seeing? This course investigates this question through an analysis of the systems of finance and economy, language and signification, and gender and sexuality in visual culture (film, television, advertising, photography, painting, cartoons, and graphics of all kinds). We will examine the visual systems of capital, signification, and desire through the lenses of the great philosophical movements in 19th and 20th Century French and German (in translation) critical theory and philosophy: deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and marxism. Our effort will be to master these philosophical movements in relationship to the concrete social practices in economy, language, and gender and sexuality as they are depicted in visual culture (film, television, advertising, photography, painting, cartoons, and graphics of all kinds). We will also review other critical schools in contemporary visual scholarship, including: new historicism, black studies, queer theory, and science studies. We will mobilize these theoretical paradigms in order to analyze the extant visual systems (film, television, advertising, photography, painting, cartoons, and graphics of all kinds) of finance, signification, and desire as they are mobilized in contemporary image culture. This image culture includes a wide array of graphic representations, all of which we will explore in relationship to visual critical theory. The course also pursues study of the visual work by the pop artist, Andy Warhol, including his film work. The course readings and visual texts will be explored for their contribution to a critique of the (dys)function of the world and its systems of economy, language, and sexuality. The course is layered and integrated. At the close of the semester, we will supplement our critique of society — why do the systems of finance, signification, and desire not work as depicted in contemporary image culture? — with creative work (your own work in theatre, playwriting, screenwriting, video, journalism, etc.) which imagines texts and images for an alternative to the present cultural systems and their visual regime. If the world does not work, then how can its diagnosis, as the 19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, refers to the purpose of philosophical meditation, launch us toward systems of the dollar and coin, speech and writing, and desire and love which can supplant the extant with the revolutionary, in text and image, in thinking, being, and living in the world of visual culture?

 

Class Requirements

 

Weekly reading quiz
2 short papers
1 midterm exam (short answer essay)
1 final exam (short answer essay)

 

No grades!

 

Class Supplies

 

A selection of .pdfs available for download on the course site
A selection of books to be purchased on Amazon

 

It’s okay to ask questions…

Is this going to be like that dry, boring philosophy course I took in college?

No, not at all! This is a fascinating course that introduces you to the best — sex and death — in deconstruction, marxism, and psychoanalysis — ideas in the history of French and German philosophy (in translation).

Is this class going to be hard?

Yes, totally! But it’s not worth taking a class that’s easy — for easy courses, listening to the lectures and discussions is boring, and writing the papers and exams is tedious. Welcome to some seriously fun work!

How will each class session be configured?

Good question! Our class will primarily be seminar, so we will be reading and viewing texts together in class. I will also lecture, explicating texts and screening images, briefly, during each class session. There will be a graded quiz at the top of each class session on that day’s reading assignment, and there will be small group student work during each class, too.

So, Michael, what makes you qualified to teach this course?

DR. MICHAEL WILLIAMS (CV)

 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
HUMANITIES
PHILOSOPHY
VISUAL AND CULTURAL STUDIES

 

Results-driven professional with extensive teaching and research experience and demonstrated excellence in providing strategic support and direction in advancing a university’s academic mission, educational offerings, and development. Seeking opportunities as an assistant professor in Philosophy, Media Studies, Critical Theory, or Cultural Studies.

 

PROFILE
▪ Strong knowledge and understanding in 19th and 20th century French and German philosophy, Hegel, Kant, Marx, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Lacan, Freud, critical theory, cultural studies, feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, film theory, media studies, American narrative cinema, international film, classic/contemporary film theory, and interdisciplinary work.
▪ Excellent teaching and writing skills combined with expertise in designing effective curriculum plans to foster student-centered learning process, enhance classroom discussions, and ensure student engagement.
▪ Actively participating in research and scholarly activities, including publication in international peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as publication of books and articles.
▪ Able to collaborate with the other academic leadership to implement educational programs, and to conduct reviews and development, as well as to build appropriate analytics support to address institutional priorities.
▪ Proven expertise in initiating and leading innovative educational practices, programs, and services combined with strong knowledge and experience in working with educational technologies.
▪ Strong experience as a strategic and collaborative leader, with the ability to foster consensus and commitment to achieve goals and objectives aligned with the university’s mission.

 

CORE COMPETENCIES

▪ Continental Philosophy
▪ Animal Studies
▪ Science Studies
▪ Cultural Studies
▪ Native Philosophy
▪ Disability Philosophy
▪ Marxism
▪ Critical Theory
▪ Feminism
▪ Psychoanalysis
▪ Queer Philosophy
▪ Literary Theory
▪ Deconstruction

 

EDUCATION

 

UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, Rochester, NY
PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies Program (Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Art History) May 2006 University Tuition Fellowship, University of Rochester, 1998 – 2003
University Teaching Assistantship, University of Rochester, 1998 – 2003

 

UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, Rochester, NY
Master of Arts in Visual and Cultural Studies Program (Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Art History) May 2002

 

SWARTHMORE COLLEGE, Swarthmore, PA
Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Theory Honors program May 1998

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

INSTITUTE OF LIBERAL ARTS, EMERSON COLLEGE, Boston, MA
Affiliated Faculty Fall 2017, Fall 2020
▪ Teaching and mentoring students extensively on courses related to Philosophy and the Image: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, and Marxism, Native Philosophy, Disability Philosophy, and Feminist and Queer Philosophy.
▪ Challenging thinking level among students by fostering their debate skills and develop their ability to engage in critical discourse and rational thinking.
▪ Developing and implementing innovative instructional methods of teaching, as well as guiding students in research projects, and maintaining academic integrity in accordance with college policies.

 

RISD, Providence, RI
Lecturer Fall 2020-present

▪ Teaching and mentoring students extensively on courses related to Literature and Philosophy: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, and Marxism, Art History and Visual Studies: Global Modernisms, and Feminist and Queer Studies.
▪ Challenging thinking level among students by fostering their debate skills and develop their ability to engage in critical discourse and rational thinking.
▪ Developing and implementing innovative instructional methods of teaching, as well as guiding students in research projects, and maintaining academic integrity in accordance with college policies.

 

SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY, Boston, MA
Assistant Professor, Program in Women’s and Gender Studies January – May 2018
▪ Taught students on issues related to Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, and Gender and Sexuality in Visual Culture.
▪ Evaluated, monitored, and mentored student’s academic progress, as well as planned and implemented career- enhancement programs and activities.

 

DEPARTMENT OF LIBERAL ARTS, BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC, Boston, MA
Assistant (Associate) Professor August 2008 – August 2018
▪ Successfully taught students of diverse range of topics, including the History of Continental Philosophy, Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Culture, Race and Philosophy, Native Philosophy, Global Visual Culture, Technology and New Media Philosophy, Art History and Aesthetic Philosophy, Feminism, Animal Studies, and Health and Wellness Philosophy.
▪ Extensively participated in pedagogy workshops.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, Montreal, Quebec
Assistant Professor August 2006 – August 2008
▪ Taught students on issues related to Continental Philosophy, Native Philosophy, Communication, Culture, and Popular Art, Media and Cultural Context, Introduction to Global Cinema, Gender and Philosophy, Disability Studies, Technology and New Media Philosophy, Race and Philosophy, International Documentary Cinema, and Film and Philosophy.

 

DEPARTMENT OF THE HUMANITIES, EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, Rochester, NY
Lecturer January 2005 – August 2006
▪ Lectured students on courses, including Sexuality and Philosophy, Technology and New Media Philosophy, Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Philosophy, Native Philosophy, and Contemporary Theory.

 

PROGRAM IN VISUAL AND CULTURAL STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, Rochester, NY
Teaching/Research Assistant September 1998 – May 2003
▪ Taught courses, including Introduction to Continental Philosophy, Feminist Theory, Aesthetic Philosophy, and Visual and Cultural Studies.

 

TECHNICAL SKILLS

 

Expertise in Microsoft Office, Keynote, Pages, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Canvas, Blackboard

 

PUBLICATIONS (SELECTIONS)

 

BOOKS:
✓ Author, Pervert-Schizoid-Woman, Cambridge, MA: Bleakswan Publications, December 2016.
✓ Author, The Ontology of the Unconscious (in process)
✓ Author, Debt to Marx (in process)
✓ Author, Quantumly Queer (in process)
✓ Author, Madness of Order (in process)
✓ Author, Writing Patrick (in process)
ARTICLES:
✓ Author, “The Philosophical Voice of Madness” (in process, for journal Subjectivity)
✓ Author, “Queer Figuration” (in process, for journal GLQ)
✓ Author, “Another Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Day in the Laughin’ Place: the Freedom of a Colored World in The Song of the South” (in process, for journal Camera Obscura)
✓ Author, “The Signifying Professor: The Arrest of Textuality” in journal Cultural Critique, September 2011.
✓ Author, “‘Principles That Transcend Drugs or Money or Anything Like That’: The Monstrosity of Morality in No Country for Old Men” in journal New Review of Film and Television Studies, September 2011.

✓ Author, “’This Is What Makes Time Travel Possible’: The Revolutionary Generation(s) of Master Signifiers in Back to the Future” in The Worlds of Back to the Future, McFarland, July 2010.
✓ Author, “Giving Perverse Accounts” in journal Culture, Theory, and Critique, volume 51, issue 1, April 2010.
✓ Author, “A Traversal Beyond the Pleasure Principle: From Pervert to Schizophrenic” in journal Theory & Event, vol 12, issue 3, September 2009.
✓ Author, “Unreason and Alienation: A Review of History of Madness” in journal Subjectivity, vol 27, issue 1, July 2009.
✓ Author, “Derrida on the Couch: The Perversity of Deconstruction” in journal The Symptom (the online journal of lacan dot com) Vol. 9, June 2008.
✓ Co-Author, “Introduction to the Symptom” in journal Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, No. 10, Spring 2006.

 

CONFERENCES AND PRESENTATIONS (SELECTIONS)
✓ “Perversion and Fetishism in Nurse Betty” presented at Film and Philosophy Conference, Gainesville, Florida,
November 2010.
✓ “The Death of the Spectator” presented at Popular Culture and American Culture Association Annual Conference,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 2010.
✓ “The ‘Artful Solution’ of Disavowal: The Discourse of the Pervert in the Freudian Text” presented at the Association
for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society Annual Conference, New Brunswick, New Jersey, October 2008.
✓ “Becoming-Perverse: The Splitting of Greg Kinnear in the Process of Nurse Betty” presented at Concordia University,
Montreal, Quebec, September 2006.
✓ “The Perversion of the Transference” presented at Translations, conference at the University of Minneapolis,
Minnesota, March 2004.
✓ “Identity Politics and the Phallus: A Misreading” presented at Women’s Studies Symposium, conference at the
University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, March 2002.
✓ “Practicing Theories of Subjectivity: George Simmel and the Work of Metaphor” presented at Theory and Practice,
graduate conference at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, March 2001.

So, Michael, have students liked your courses in the past?

1 – Engagement: I made my best effort to be attentive and engaged in this class.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.08 4.37 4.21
Disagree (2) 1 7.69%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 15.38%
Agree (4) 5 38.46%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 38.46%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.08 0.95 4.00 14019 4.37 0.77 5.00 2803 4.21 0.81 4.00
• More than any other class this semester!
• I think I was more attentive on the topics that I found the most concise and interesting and less attentive on the ones that felt repetitive and drawn out.

 

2 – Preparation: I consistently met the expectations for preparing for class (e.g. completing readings, submitting assignments).
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.15 4.30 4.17
Disagree (2) 1 7.69%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 15.38%
Agree (4) 4 30.77%
Strongly Agree (5) 6 46.15%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.15 0.99 4.00 13974 4.30 0.80 4.00 2787 4.17 0.86 4.00
• I read through the readings, completed the quizzes and finished the assignments.

 

3 – Presentation: Michael Williams presented the course material (e.g. lectures, workshops, discussions) effectively.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.54 4.34 4.28
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 6 46.15%
Strongly Agree (5) 7 53.85%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.54 0.52 5.00 14388 4.34 0.89 5.00 2843 4.28 0.92 5.00
• Felt like it got reinforced and not only repeated back but truly understood. The symposium class setup gave the sense of a genuine higher education environment.
• Great lectures and discussions, and very engaged with the students. I liked how he would sit with the students, making discussions feel more relaxed.

 

4 – Respect: Michael Williams treated me with respect.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.31 4.67 4.64
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 7 53.85%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 38.46%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.31 0.63 4.00 14399 4.67 0.65 5.00 2849 4.64 0.65 5.00
• There was one moment when he was upset at the class for not participating, this was very much out of line and very inappropriate in the classroom.
• Open to multiple comments and ideas from the students which was nice.

 

5 – Feedback: Michael Williams’s feedback on assignments, exams, and other work was useful.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00%
3.92 4.32 4.19
Disagree (2) 1 7.69%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 15.38%
Agree (4) 7 53.85%
Strongly Agree (5) 3 23.08%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 3.92 0.86 4.00 14375 4.32 0.90 5.00 2843 4.19 0.95 4.00
• There were times when every single student in the class got the same grade. I could tell he barely read my work.
• I liked how he underlines the part he likes from our quizzes.
• Great insights.

 

6 – Evaluation: Michael Williams followed his or her criteria for evaluation.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.31 4.47 4.44
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 7 53.85%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 38.46%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.31 0.63 4.00 14352 4.47 0.74 5.00 2845 4.44 0.74 5.00
• Was not bad, but certainly more participation based than I was anticipating based on the syllabus.

 

7 – Knowledge: Michael Williams was knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.85 4.71 4.73
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 2 15.38%
Strongly Agree (5) 11 84.62%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.85 0.38 5.00 14373 4.71 0.59 5.00 2854 4.73 0.56 5.00
• You can tell.
• Very knowledgeable. He knew so many essays and books about all things related to philosophy.
• Extremely knowledgeable.

 

8 – Learning Goals: This course met its stated learning goals.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.38 4.39 4.38
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 6 46.15%
Strongly Agree (5) 6 46.15%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.38 0.65 4.00 13936 4.39 0.81 5.00 2779 4.38 0.80 5.00
• For a crash course of sorts in continental philosophy, it is impressive.
• Understood many of the concepts the course was teaching.

 

9 – Assignments/Activities: The course assignments/activities reinforced concepts or skills.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.46 4.37 4.30
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 7 53.85%
Strongly Agree (5) 6 46.15%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.46 0.52 4.00 13955 4.37 0.84 5.00 2778 4.30 0.86 4.00
• Not many assignments other than in-class discussions, but they definitely did.
• The quizzes were good and the final project was amazing.

 

10 – Course Structure: This course was well organized.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00%
3.92 4.23 4.21
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 4 33.33%
Agree (4) 5 41.67%
Strongly Agree (5) 3 25.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
12/16 (75.00%) 3.92 0.79 4.00 13942 4.23 0.96 4.00 2780 4.21 0.95 4.00
• Kinda broke from the stated schedule in the last couple weeks, but it was never stressful or confusing. Felt like a very intuitive, growing learning atmosphere.
• Good syllabus structure.
• Unorganized but it wasn’t a problem.

 

11 – Challenge: This course was academically and/or creatively challenging.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.92 4.28 4.31
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 1 7.69%
Strongly Agree (5) 12 92.31%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.92 0.28 5.00 13932 4.28 0.92 5.00 2774 4.31 0.88 5.00
• More than any other class this semester!
• The final project, the quizzes, and also the reading was challenging. The final project was especially creative.

 

12 – What aspects of this course did you find most beneficial?
Response Rate 11/16 (68.75%)
• This is one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. The course material is fascinating and all totally new to me. The concepts we’ve learned are already starting to change the way I look at art, especially film. The professor is an entertaining and charismatic lecturer with a lot of enthusiasm for his subject matter. He is able to break down very challenging concepts to make them easily comprehensible and relatable to someone like me, to whom philosophy is a completely new subject. We are always encouraged to engage in discussion and contribute our own thoughts and ideas, which are valued by the professor. Overall, this class was incredibly engaging, fun, and intellectually challenging and I’ll miss not having it next semester.
• I found the small group discussion with quotes very effective. Not as much pressure to speak out in front of the class.
• Professor Williams’ knowledge and belief in the material is always engaging, even when I disagree with the content. I loved the discussion-based classes; very rarely was there a pure "lecture." This course somehow felt both laid-back and simultaneously more challenging than any other class this semester, which I attribute to this participatory style.
• It was cool because a lot of the stuff we learned in this class were brought up in all of my other classes, so in some respects I felt ahead of the game.
• The in class discussions were really helpful. Compared to all my other classes, I felt the actual class was the most necessary because the reading required outside it was confusing at times but made much more sense when analyzing it in class.
• I found the connection between film and philosophy beneficial for a person who is creative like me and may include philosophical concepts in their work. I also felt like just having some big philosophical concept explained to you comprehensively was very useful.
• I found the class discussions most beneficial because they often cleared up confusion I had with the readings.
• The concepts that broadened the scope of my thought.
• Great lecturer and group discussion
• The topics discussed and tested on felt relative to the real world.
• The group discussions were insightful, eye-opening, and extremely interesting. Creatively I have so much more ammo to write with now.

 

13 – What suggestions do you have for improving the course?
Response Rate 11/16 (68.75%)
• Maybe lighten up on the readings. They’re pretty dense, and often not all of them related to what we actually talked about in class the next day.
• The lectures were endless and these terms and concepts were very hard to digest. I don’t think the delivery of the material was very affective.
• Some of the assigned readings felt a little redundant–never overwhelming though, as the professor underlined important parts and certainly reiterated the concepts within class. I also think the class’ strong emphasis on participation in discussion could be highlighted earlier on and with more pomp and circumstance (see "inclusive" comments).
• There were a lot of readings assigned, and sometimes that made me feel like I just shouldn’t read them at all, or just read a few pages before class, so, maybe less readings, although they were underlined, which was very helpful, all those readings kinda diluted the points and made it a lot harder to want to read.
• We had a lot of readings that we didn’t directly address in class. I would recommend keeping the readings because I feel they gave me a ton of new information and I thought they were very enlightening, however it might be worth it to either make the readings optional or orientate the class discussion more closely around them at times.
• I would suggest maybe a more organized curriculum lay out but still having connections between the course material and less really long assigned reading students don’t usually do
• Perhaps decreasing the amount of readings or being able to talk about more of them, just because the material was very dense and when we weren’t able to go over a reading, I was often lost as to its meaning.
• None.
• Perfect
• I would like more creative assignments like the final project.
• Can’t say I have any.

 

14 – What could you have done to improve your learning experience in this course?
Response Rate 11/16 (68.75%)
• Probably contribute more. I generally only talked like once every class.
• More small group discussion
• There were times that I could have engaged in discussions more often, or put more effort into analyzing the reading. Overall, however, I’m satisfied with the amount I was invested in this course.
• I could have participated more, I feel like I did not live up to my full potential in this class, as well as what was expected of me. Sometimes I felt like I had things to say, but the work felt too challenging I felt ta little scared to say them.
• I feel that I could have participated more openly in the discussion the class was having and it might have led the discussion down a path which might have allowed me to understand the content better than I already did.
• Could have been more attentive and read some of the stuff.
• Reading the texts more closely.
• Be more thorough with the readings.
• Perfect
• I wish I had the time and energy to do more of the readings.
• Done more of the readings.

 

15 – Was this an inclusive learning environment? Why or why not?
Response Rate 11/16 (68.75%)
• Definitely. All our learning was in part guided by contributions by the students. Generally, the professor would introduce a concept, and the students would ask questions or suggest ideas, which he would riff on for most of class. Our contributions always felt like they were valued by the professor.
• Yeah, I would say so, I felt comfortable speaking in class.
• Mostly–with one big caveat. I am typically a quieter person in class; not unengaged but unspeaking if I have nothing new to add. It is, to be fair, stated that participation in class discussions is a requirement on the syllabus, but I perhaps did not realize how much until Professor Williams expressed his frustration with us as a class not making enough comments, something that would affect our grades. This caused me a significant amount of anxiety, but, ultimately, I am not upset about it, because it personally challenged (nay, forced) me to be more verbally engaged than I had been. It was a trial by fire that forced me into being okay with speaking up in class., and I don’t regret it happening. However, if there were to be a student with a genuine social anxiety disorder, I could see this being a tough environment. This is not to say that Professor Williams would not be accommodating if approached (and I did not), but I think this aspect of the class could be made more clear.
• It was pretty cool we all sat in a circle to talk, and Mr. Williams was always very nice and appreciative, so yes, it was
• This was an inclusive learning environment because I felt like the background of each student was dropped and we discussed the concepts being talked about. At times, the discussion intersected in a personal manner, however we addressed issues and I never felt like any person in the class was being excluded.
• Yes, professor was open to all ideas and opinions.
• In terms of the material we read, a lot of it seemed to be centered around a few philosophers and their opinions. In class, though, Dr. Williams made sure everyone got a chance to speak.
• Very inclusive, everyone was encouraged to share their thoughts.
• Yes
• The environments was great. Everybody was respectful, although I am personally not a fan of speaking out loud in discussions because I get pretty shy yet I feel like I’m forced to speak in order to participate.
• Yes; insightful discussions by the whole class.

 

Course: IN-123-08: Top: Philosophy & Image
Instructor: Michael Williams *
Response Rate: 10/11 (90.91 %)

 

1 – Engagement: I made my best effort to be attentive and engaged in this class.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.50 4.37 4.21
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 5 50.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 50.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.50 0.53 4.50 14019 4.37 0.77 5.00 2803 4.21 0.81 4.00

 

2 – Preparation: I consistently met the expectations for preparing for class (e.g. completing readings, submitting assignments).
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.40 4.30 4.17
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 10.00%
Agree (4) 4 40.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 50.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.40 0.70 4.50 13974 4.30 0.80 4.00 2787 4.17 0.86 4.00

 

3 – Presentation: Michael Williams presented the course material (e.g. lectures, workshops, discussions) effectively.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.40 4.34 4.28
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 6 60.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 40.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.40 0.52 4.00 14388 4.34 0.89 5.00 2843 4.28 0.92 5.00

 

4 – Respect: Michael Williams treated me with respect.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.30 4.67 4.64
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 10.00%
Agree (4) 5 50.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 40.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.30 0.67 4.00 14399 4.67 0.65 5.00 2849 4.64 0.65 5.00
• mostly lecture based

 

Course: IN-123-08: Top: Philosophy & Image
Instructor: Michael Williams *
Response Rate: 10/11 (90.91 %)

 

5 – Feedback: Michael Williams’s feedback on assignments, exams, and other work was useful.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00%
3.90 4.32 4.19
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 20.00%
Agree (4) 7 70.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 1 10.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 3.90 0.57 4.00 14375 4.32 0.90 5.00 2843 4.19 0.95 4.00

 

6 – Evaluation: Michael Williams followed his or her criteria for evaluation.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.50 4.47 4.44
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 5 50.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 50.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.50 0.53 4.50 14352 4.47 0.74 5.00 2845 4.44 0.74 5.00

 

7 – Knowledge: Michael Williams was knowledgeable about the subject matter.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.60 4.71 4.73
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 4 40.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 6 60.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.60 0.52 5.00 14373 4.71 0.59 5.00 2854 4.73 0.56 5.00
• very smart

 

8 – Learning Goals: This course met its stated learning goals.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.40 4.39 4.38
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 6 60.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 40.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.40 0.52 4.00 13936 4.39 0.81 5.00 2779 4.38 0.80 5.00

 

Course: IN-123-08: Top: Philosophy & Image
Instructor: Michael Williams *
Response Rate: 10/11 (90.91 %)

 

9 – Assignments/Activities: The course assignments/activities reinforced concepts or skills.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.50 4.37 4.30
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 5 50.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 5 50.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.50 0.53 4.50 13955 4.37 0.84 5.00 2778 4.30 0.86 4.00

 

10 – Course Structure: This course was well organized.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00%
4.00 4.23 4.21
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 20.00%
Agree (4) 6 60.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 2 20.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.00 0.67 4.00 13942 4.23 0.96 4.00 2780 4.21 0.95 4.00

 

11 – Challenge: This course was academically and/or creatively challenging.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.40 4.28 4.31
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 6 60.00%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 40.00%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
10/11 (90.91%) 4.40 0.52 4.00 13932 4.28 0.92 5.00 2774 4.31 0.88 5.00

 

12 – What aspects of this course did you find most beneficial?
Response Rate 8/11 (72.73%)
• learning alternatives to capitalism was really interesting
• I liked the discussions we were able to have with our peers. It allowed us (or me, at least) to see the material in new ways and understand the concepts more fully.
• The structure
• It helped me realize philosophy in everyday life and art. which will allow me to take these concepts into my art.
• I gained a new world perspective
• deep lecture structure, entrancing really
• How insightful the course was. This course really causes you to think outside your comfort zone.
• The material and how it was presented.

 

Course: IN-123-08: Top: Philosophy & Image
Instructor: Michael Williams *
Response Rate: 10/11 (90.91 %)

 

13 – What suggestions do you have for improving the course?
Response Rate 8/11 (72.73%)
• n/a
• Nothing major, I liked it. Maybe something hands-on, although I’m just a hands-on person. The readings were really really overwhelming though; it was understandable concepts, but they were wrapped up in ancient jargon.
• Clearer notes
• use the books we were required to buy more. I haven’t touched them once.
• Watch more films
• nothing
• Less readings, I couldn’t keep up/understand them all.
• Explore the assigned readings in greater depth during class.

 

14 – What could you have done to improve your learning experience in this course?
Response Rate 8/11 (72.73%)
• probably read more
• Maybe tried harder on the readings?
• Been more present
• An 8 am philosophy class is hard bc I cannot function then
• Done more reading
• not sure
• Been more engaged in class.
• Organized myself to do both the required and the optional readings.

 

15 – Was this an inclusive learning environment? Why or why not?
Response Rate 8/11 (72.73%)
• yes, we were all encouraged to participate and our opinion was valued/ not shut down
• Yeah! There was a lot of participation and group discussion.
• Yes
• Yes
• Yes, Micheal was a great teacher and really made the environment really safe and inclusive. I really liked this class
• yes, all listened and fostered an open rapport
• Yes, it was extremely inclusive. Professor Williams went out of his way every class to try and get everyone to speak and the topics he spoke about were inclusive to many different people.
• Yes. Students felt free to speak their minds according to what we learned.

 

BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LAHS-233 UG Gender & the Visual Arts C NONE sec: 4 2014 Fall

 

There were: 15 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 9 100% 78% 22% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 9 100% 78% 22% 0% 0% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 9 89% 78% 11% 11% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 9 89% 78% 11% 11% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 9 100% 89% 11% 0% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
Really great course! Michael is incredibly intelligent and knowledgable on the subject. I really enjoyed the semester with him!
It’s very obvious that Professor Williams has his doctorate. His classes always challenge my thinking and propose interesting questions. I’ll remember this class for a long time. Great….
Loved his class! He is so engaging and entertaining.
I love this man.

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

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BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LAHS-233 UG Gender & the Visual Arts C NONE sec: 4 2015 Fall

 

There were: 14 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 6 100% 33% 67% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 6 100% 50% 50% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 6 83% 50% 33% 17% 0% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 6 100% 50% 50% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 6 83% 33% 50% 17% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 6 83% 50% 33% 17% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 6 83% 50% 33% 17% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 6 83% 33% 50% 0% 17% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 6 83% 50% 33% 17% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 6 100% 50% 50% 0% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 6 100% 67% 33% 0% 0% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 6 83% 33% 50% 17% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
fun class great teacher
This was definitely the coolest liberal arts class I’ve taken at Berklee so far. Michael is a great teacher who seems really fascinated with the subject matter, even though he’s presumably taught it several times by now – the way that he talks about it is like he’s discovering it for the first time, which is really refreshing. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was an awesome movie that we watched to stimulate discussion about gender.
Good teacher who helped open up my view about different genders, gender roles, identity, and interaction in society

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

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BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LAHS-233 UG Gender & the Visual Arts C NONE sec: 7 2015 Fall

 

There were: 21 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 7 100% 86% 14% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 7 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 7 86% 43% 43% 14% 0% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 7 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 7 100% 71% 29% 0% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 7 100% 71% 29% 0% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 7 71% 57% 14% 29% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 7 71% 71% 0% 14% 14% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 7 100% 71% 29% 0% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 7 86% 86% 0% 14% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 7 86% 86% 0% 0% 14% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 7 86% 86% 0% 14% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
Michael changed my life. Y’all need to give him a raise.
There needs to a name change of this course, as it’s more of Gender in a Visual Society. Something along those lines, but it’s a fun and interesting course.
Great course! Very relative, lots of fun and Michael is great!
I liked the class. We had many great discussions, but I felt that the required readings were obsolete, somewhat applicable, and excessive in amount.
I really enjoyed taking this class this semester. The insightful and academic but also open and honest conversations we have each class is stimulating and enlightening. I have learnt so much about myself and how I see the rest of the world over the course of this semester. Perhaps we could have been given a clearer outline from the beginning what the assessment and the expectations were but they were thoroughly explained as we went along. A fantastic class!

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

class

 

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BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LAHS-233 UG Philosophy and the Image C NONE sec: 7 2014 Fall

 

There were: 30 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 12 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 12 100% 83% 17% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 12 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 12 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 12 100% 92% 8% 0% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 12 92% 75% 17% 8% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 12 83% 75% 8% 17% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 12 100% 83% 17% 0% 0% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 12 100% 83% 17% 0% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 12 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 12 100% 92% 8% 0% 0% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 12 100% 92% 8% 0% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
Great Teacher. Do not ever loose him. Great teachers like this should be rewarded and should not be noticed.
This class is really hard, but really interesting.
Michael Williams is my favorite Liberal Arts teacher so far and is great to listen to all he has to say because it’s either important or interesting.
At first I really did not like this class, but in the end I ended up really enjoying it, it really stimulated my mind.
Michael has a very interesting and somewhat flamboyant style of teaching which I found humorous (in a good way) as well as stimulating. The material of course was not easy at all to understand, but the way he would repeatedly present ideas to us eventually drilled themselves into our heads and they began to make sense as the semester went on.
By far one of my favorite teachers of all time. I left almost every class rambunctious calling or texing my highschool Theory of Knowledge and English teachers. I had plenty of epiphanies. He has a commanding but open way of teaching the information that was blatantly informative. I always found my mind to be malleable and open in his class. I interpreted the philosophies as if they were my own and it made for a beautiful new perspective each class. At times I left feeling absurdly desensitized but it was worth it because I was always an open palette to new information in his class.

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

class

 

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BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LSOC-P219 UG Gay, Lesbian and Queer Culture C NONE sec: 1 2015 Fall

 

There were: 28 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 13 100% 92% 8% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 13 100% 92% 8% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 13 85% 85% 0% 0% 15% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 13 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 13 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 13 92% 85% 8% 8% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 13 77% 77% 0% 23% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 13 92% 77% 15% 8% 0% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 13 92% 92% 0% 8% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 13 100% 77% 23% 0% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 13 85% 69% 15% 8% 8% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 13 92% 77% 15% 8% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
This was one of my favorite classes I’ve ever taken at Berklee. I actually gained knowledge and learned so much. Michael is an amazing teacher!
Wonderful professor who creates a great class atmosphere!
YASSSSSSSS. Favorite class of semester
This course has been amazing and I have loved every second of it. It has had very interesting conversations and made me further develop my feelings about queer culture as well as my feelings about being gay. The knowledge and discussion from this class is invaluable and I wish more people would be open to discussions that were available in this classroom. Michael creates a very open and accepting space of various view points and attitudes.
Michael? YES! This class should be obligatory for every student to take! Then we wouldn’t have the problem of sexism, homophobia and transphobia that we actually have a lot on Berklee.

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

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BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC AND BOSTON CONSERVATORY AT BERKLEE

 

Michael Williams Teaching LART LSOC-P219 UG Gay, Lesbian and Queer Culture C NONE sec: 1 2015 Spring

 

There were: 23 possible respondents.

 

Question Text N Top Two Str Agree Agree Undecided Disagree Str Disagree

 

1 Supports student learning 4 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
2 On Time and meets regularly 4 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
3 Explains course expectations 4 75% 75% 0% 25% 0% 0%
4 Knowledgeable about subject 4 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
5 Clear and interesting presentation 4 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
6 Constructive and timely feedback 4 75% 75% 0% 25% 0% 0%
7 Available for help 4 50% 50% 0% 50% 0% 0%
8 Stimulated interest in subject 4 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
9 Relevance of class discussions 4 100% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
10 Relevance of assignments/projects 4 100% 75% 25% 0% 0% 0%
11 Relevance of course materials 4 75% 75% 0% 0% 25% 0%
12 Found the course challenging/rewarding 4 75% 75% 0% 25% 0% 0%

 

Text Responses

 

Question: COMMENT
GREAT TEACHER. CAN BE OPINIONATED, BUT WHAT PASSIONATE TEACHER ISN’T !!??
Great class, one of my favorites this semester. He has a fantastic teaching style and makes it easy for students to have open minds.
Amazing class. It was very eye-opening & allowed an open forum for students to openly discuss about these topics in a respectful but honest manner. Very relaxed & accepting environment.

 

Commonly Occurring Words and Phrases from Your Students’ Comments

 

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Michael, how is this course structured and scheduled?

Good question! The course is organized like a college course, a 15 week semester, with meetings twice a week for 90 minutes for the 15 week duration of the course. No grades!