Michael M. Williams

Assistant Professor
617 747-2350

"I think that Berklee's Liberal Arts Department is extremely popular with students. The courses are a nice complement to the technical, creative, or performance work that they do. Liberal arts is holistic in nature, and I think it situates the music that they do in social/historical/cultural contexts."

"I am consistently impressed by the capacity for critical thinking, the engagement, and the verbal acrobatics that the students are able to achieve in class. These are some of the best and brightest students that I've ever taught. They love to talk. Students are invariably interested in sharing their own experiences and applying reading, theory, and philosophy to their everyday life. I think that students welcome reflection. That's something that's special about Berklee. I think it has to do with their being creative artists."

"Students are hardworking and busy and yet they make time—amazingly—to expand their horizons and think about subjects that from one person's perspective might seem irrelevant to their musical careers. But I think the Berklee students are actually capable at the young age of 18 or 19 to see it as integral to their whole education. It's important that students take from their classes at Berklee—their liberal arts classes in particular—critical thinking skills and techniques that not only challenge them now but can be deployed in their future."

"The horizon of all my courses is to pose to the students the questions that I myself cannot answer. I always step the class up to the highest level of thinking that I'm approaching in my work, and pose the question to the students in the hope that they have a fresh orientation and attitude. They come out of left field with brilliant ideas. These students are fabulous; they shake up my thinking."

"The cross challenging is the hardest part of the teaching, the most enjoyable part of the teaching, and ultimately the element that excites the students the most. Because I think they ultimately feel that we're part of a process together and we're working on problems together. It's not as if my intellectual academic publishing is separate from my teaching; it's very intertwined."

 
Career Highlights

 

  • B.A., Swarthmore College
  • M.A., Ph.D., University of Rochester
  • Author of The Perverse Future of Death and articles in , Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, Soundings, Film Philosophy, and Critical Horizons
  • Presentations at conferences at Concordia University, the University of Minneapolis, the University of Buffalo, and the University of Rochester