Michael J. Kramer
20th-Century U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History, American Studies, Digital History, Digital Humanities, Civic Engagement
Office: Harris Hall #212
Michael J. Kramer (Ph.D. University of North Carolina, 2006) is a historian, writer, teacher, dramaturg, and editor. His book, The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. His new book-in-progress, This Machine Kills Fascists: Technology and Culture in the US Folk Music Revival, revises understandings of the folk revival as an anti-modernist movement, arguing instead that it offers a hidden history of people grappling with how to live more humanely in an increasingly technological society. A related multimedia project (interactive archive website; traveling exhibition; illustrated catalogue) focuses on the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, which ran on the University of California campus from 1958 to 1970. He is also at work on a set of essays about intellectuals and the counterculture. His next book after these projects explores the history of amateurism in the United States. He has also begun to research the career of Chicago dance critic Ann Barzel, and serves as a consultant to Dancing on the Third Coast: Chicago Dance History Project, which uses oral history and digital technology to document dance in the city and its Midwest surroundings. He has served as a dramaturg for The Seldoms, a contemporary dance theater ensemble, and been an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the New York Times. He is the co-founder of the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory and writes about digital topics at Issues in Digital History. He has written about history, art, culture, and politics for numerous publications and blogs at Culture Rover. He teaches courses in history, American studies, digital humanities, and civic engagement at Northwestern University.