Liberal Studies

Faculty

Gerald Butters

Gerald Butters is a historian of film specializing in the intersection of race and gender in motion pictures. A Fulbright scholar, Butters has lectured on film in Romania, Luxembourg, France and Canada and at many American universities. His books include Black Manhood on the Silent Screen, Banned in Kansas: Motion Picture Censorship, 1915–1966, and the upcoming From Sweetback to Superfly: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago's Loop. He is editor of an anthology on Blaxploitation films. Butters received his Phd in History from the University of Kansas.

Currently teaching: Black Chicago: From Du Sable to Black Lives Matter

Michael Kramer

Michael J. Kramer works at the intersection of historical scholarship, the arts, digital technology, and cultural criticism. He 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 US folk music revival from the early twentieth century to the present; it includes 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, as well as more technical research on image sonification for historical interpretation, machine-learning sound analysis software, and the design of the digital essay. Future research focuses on the history of arts criticism in the United States, an intellectual history of the anarchist imagination in America, a history of the service worker in the US, and a biography of Chicago dance critic Ann Barzel. He teaches history and American studies at Middlebury College, where he is Associate Director of the Digital Liberal Arts. He has previously taught at Northwestern University, where he co-founded NUDHL, the Northwestern University Digital Humanities Laboratory. He also freelances as a dance dramaturg and an editorial consultant. He writes about history, the arts, politics, digital humanities, and other topics for numerous publications and blogs at michaeljkramer.net.

Currently teaching:Introduction to Digital Studies

Bill Savage

Bill Savage (PhD Northwestern) has been teaching in the SPS MALit program for almost two decades. He is a scholar of Chicago literature, history, and culture, and his most recent publication is an annotated edition of George Ade’s The Old-Time Saloon: Not Wet, Not Dry—Just History (1931; University of Chicago Press, 2016). He also co-edited and annotated Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (1892; Northwestern University Press, 2013). His current research focuses on popular culture and dynamics of urban space, especially focused on vernacular architectural matters like the design of hot dog stands and saloons. He writes book reviews and op-ed essays regularly for local media, and performs frequently in various live lit venues, including The Paper Machete. He is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

Currently teaching:Chicago Transformed: Actual and Textual Cities
Defining Chicago: Plans and Poetry from the City Beautiful to the City on the Make