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Michael Williams

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Michael Williams received a BA in Cultural Studies from Swarthmore College (1998), and earned an MA (2002) and PhD (2006) in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. He has taught at Berklee College of Music, Concordia University (Montreal), Eastman School of Music, Emerson College, and RISD. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals in his field, and also a book.

Hey, I’m Michael!

My name is Dr. Michael Williams, and I have taught philosophy courses (marxism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and visual studies) for the past 15 years at the college level. As a small child, I had originally wanted to be an actor. Performative and precocious, my family encouraged me to follow my fascinations, and I auditioned for plays, in grade school, in high school, and in college. I was very successful at drama — I landed leads, I was both funny and dramatic, and I could play both the leading man and the character role. I loved it. But something was missing. I had become enamored to philosophy at Swarthmore College, and I wanted my future career to include study and research in philosophy. But I was also enthralled by the hijinks of the theatre. I realized that I could combine the two — the performance and showmanship of the theatre and the intellectuality and curiosity of academia — as a professor. As a professor, I would be able to recite my own lines — rather than those of an anonymous playwright — and I could sharpen my wits and theatrical skills in the classroom. It was perfect! — I have combined the theatre and the intellect for 15 years of expressive, creative pedagogy, and I look forward to taking you on my next intellectual adventure in comedy and drama.

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.

DR. MICHAEL WILLIAMS (STUDENT EVALUATIONS)

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
HUMANITIES
PHILOSOPHY
VISUAL AND CULTURAL STUDIES

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% 4.15 4.39 4.26
Disagree (2) 1 7.69%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 8 61.54%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 30.77%
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 0.80 4.00 12718 4.39 0.76 5.00 2614 4.26 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% 4.08 4.32 4.19
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 12701 4.32 0.82 4.00 2610 4.19 0.87 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% 4.31 4.39 4.34
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 13010 4.39 0.89 5.00 2658 4.34 0.90 5.00

4 – Respect: Michael Williams treated me with respect. –
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.38 4.70 4.68
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 15.38%
Agree (4) 4 30.77%
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%) 4.38 0.77 5.00 13006 4.70 0.65 5.00 2658 4.68 0.65 5.00

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% 4.38 4.39 4.29
Disagree (2) 1 7.69%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 3 23.08%
Strongly Agree (5) 8 61.54%
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 0.96 5.00 12974 4.39 0.89 5.00 2649 4.29 0.93 5.00

6 – Evaluation: Michael Williams followed the stated evaluation criteria of the course. –
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.77 4.54 4.51
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 3 23.08%
Strongly Agree (5) 10 76.92%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.77 0.44 5.00 12974 4.54 0.73 5.00 2650 4.51 0.71 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% 4.85 4.73 4.75
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 12979 4.73 0.58 5.00 2648 4.75 0.55 5.00
• Extremely.

8 – Learning Goals: This course met its stated learning goals.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00%
4.00 4.46 4.44
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 3 23.08%
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%) 4.00 0.71 4.00 12663 4.46 0.78 5.00 2602 4.44 0.76 5.00

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 4.44 4.37
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 5 38.46%
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%) 4.46 0.66 5.00 12683 4.44 0.81 5.00 2606 4.37 0.85 5.00

10 – Course Structure: This course was well organized.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.23 4.31 4.31
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 1 7.69%
Agree (4) 8 61.54%
Strongly Agree (5) 4 30.77%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.23 0.60 4.00 12664 4.31 0.95 5.00 2602 4.31 0.94 5.00
• I could always find whatever I needed on Canvas. Very well done job.

11 – Challenge: This course was academically and/or creatively challenging.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.77 4.35 4.36
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 0 0.00%
Agree (4) 3 23.08%
Strongly Agree (5) 10 76.92%
0 25 50 100 Question College Department
Response Rate Mean STD Median College Mean STD Median Department Mean STD Median
13/16 (81.25%) 4.77 0.44 5.00 12671 4.35 0.88 5.00 2608 4.36 0.84 5.00
• Made me think in ways I never had before.

12 – Inclusive: This course had an inclusive learning environment.
Response Option Weight Frequency Percent Percent Responses Means
Strongly Disagree (1) 0 0.00% 4.31 4.56 4.51
Disagree (2) 0 0.00%
Neither Disagree Nor Agree (3) 2 15.38%
Agree (4) 5 38.46%
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%) 4.31 0.75 4.00 12656 4.56 0.75 5.00 2605 4.51 0.77 5.00
• It allow us to have discussions, something that wasn’t easy to do but when they happened they were insightful and fun.

13 – What aspects of this course did you find most beneficial?
Response Rate 12/16 (75%)
• This course was like nothing I have taken in the past, it made me think alot. but whether the information was useful I still am unsure of.
• The way concepts referred to other concepts and the overarching themes of the course were incredibly interesting, and every time I noticed a call back to a previous theme it was like finding a $5 on the sidewalk. The course effectively reinforced itself, and understanding one subject well meant you could at least describe the others in terms of it.
• Everything in this class enlightened me and Michael explained all the hard concepts clearly with funny/relatable video clips
• I guess what I found the most beneficial about this class was making sense of ideas and having discussions based on them. It was interesting knowing what other people think on a subject that I have my own ideas about.
• this class was like going to the gym for my brain. Would recommend. I really liked the laid back lecture style that made learning philosophical concepts fun by introducing media such as Seinfeld to help our further understanding.
• I just think that the fact that this is an offered course is beneficial – there are so many interesting topics and philosophies that we learned about that were truly interesting to me. Other than that I think the videos that Michael included in his presentations were beneficial, as they provided useful examples of what he was referring to in the lecture.
• The supplemental videos with lectures
• I loved the lectures, I simply enjoyed the system of including clips from media which related to the subject. Whenever I was struggling with something (which was frequent) this instantly helped me understand.
• The time we did group discussions based on the citations from the Week handouts made me learn more than I had the whole semester.
• showed me new perspectives
• I think that our weekly quiz/handouts were a great way to let students make their own interpretations of the texts from the course. I think that towards the end where we were put in groups and discussing the handouts were helpful to learn and understand other interpretations of the text. The course sort of built on itself and It felt nice that we would keep adding to the discussion from weeks prior and using those discussions to understand more complicated concepts.
• I found most of the topics very interesting to learn about in general.

14 – What suggestions do you have for improving the course?
Response Rate 12/16 (75%)
• The course seems to have little direction, it serves to expose the students to new perspectives but it desperately needs a connection the modern world I have all this random information and no idea why it matters.
• The course’s pace was a little fast, and most of the readings were only referred to once or twice, meaning you could very well finish the course without reading them – which, at that point, why assign them at all?
• It’s great the way it is
• Probably give the students access to the PowerPoints? I would be nice to look back on them, take notes again and just see if we’re able to come up with our own ideas for the quizzes and class discussions.
• i feel like the extra potential this class had was hindered totally by covid. With our masks on and the distance between the students and the professor made what was supposed to be a really inviting learning experience, rather slow yet still rewarding.
• I think really to just decrease the amount of information being given in one class period – it seemed like some days it was just an absolute overload of information being given to us.
• To organize quizzes and assignments better
• More in class activities (we got to do one it was fun!)
• I recommend doing citation discussion questions more from the handouts. Engaging with each other as students and then with you as a reinforcement was the most beneficial learning point for myself.
• more group discussions
• This course was probably the most difficult class for me to engage and be inspired. Week in and week out it would be the same keynote style presentation that if I wasn’t in person I would be falling asleep. It wasn’t that Michael is bad at presentations, in fact, I felt that he was great at presenting the information but there just wasn’t enough reason to try and engage. With a lecture styled class, I felt that I wasn’t actually putting the knowledge to use until the weekly quizzes or papers. I enjoyed that there wasn’t a whole ton of assignments, but it almost made the course feel sort of pointless. Also, the presentations would fall behind all the time, I think that the videos and the breaks are great to give students a break from listening, but if staying on time with the course is important then I would scrap the 15 minute breaks some days. Perhaps using the 15-minute break to show videos instead would be a better activity.
• I would rely less on lectures and a little more on engaging the class in collective learning.

15 – What could you have done to improve your learning experience in this course?
Response Rate 12/16 (75%)
• The teacher seemed like he was lost ever time he came to class, he never learned our names and he sometimes didn’t even remember what school he was on zoom with. The course was fine but not worth the money I am paying I though going to a small school ment having more intimate relationships with my professors but that is clearly not the case.
• There were a good number of readings I correctly assumed wouldn’t be quizzed on, and so I skipped them. While this hasn’t dramatically impacted my course knowledge, I’m sure my learning experience would have at least somewhat benefitted from completing them.
• Nothing
• Again, same as before, the PowerPoints.
• not had this class during a pandemic
• I think just devote more time to the readings.
• More group discussions
• My learning experience would have improved if all classes were in person, as this class really excelled in that space, I could have payed better attention in the zoom classes though.
• I definitely did not complete all the readings we did. There were a good 2 weeks where I did no reading at all. I think I would have gotten more out of those weeks of conversation and lecture.
• chosen better essay topics
• I think that I could have read/scanned the texts that were optional/required. I didn’t read into many of the provided texts from the course unless I was looking to get a better understanding because it was associated with the weekly quiz. I could have been more informed before writing my midterm and final.
• Not very much, I think I learned a lot, and my outlook on a lot of different aspects of life were changed fundamentally.

My Education

Swarthmore College
BA Cultural Studies (1998)
University of Rochester
MA Visual and Cultural Studies (2002)
University of Rochester
PhD Visual and Cultural Studies (2006)
Cornell University
School for Criticism and Theory (2011)

My Experience

Assistant Professor
Berklee College of Music
Assistant Professor
Concordia University
Instructor
RISD
Instructor
Eastman School of Music
Affiliated Faculty
Emerson College