William Glasspiegel

William Glasspiegel's picture
Graduate Student

Wills Glasspiegel’s work explores niche genres of black electronic dance music. In 2009, Glasspiegel researched and co-produced the hour-long radio documentary Midwest Electric: the Black Roots of Electronic Dance Music, a program supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities that focused on local histories of electronic dance music (EDM) in the American Midwest. Through Glasspiegel’s subsequent work with NPR’s All Things Considered, he began focusing on one particular form of dance and electronic music from Chicago called footwork. Footwork–its deeply embedded and embodied cultural history in and out of black Chicago–occupies the central focus of Glasspiegel’s work at Yale. Glasspiegel first encountered footwork and American EDM through his work in the African music sector, where he is  interested in the digitalization of traditional music from 90s Freetown, Sierra Leone and early 2000s Soweto, South Africa. Glasspiegel, a Chicagoan and a New Yorker, holds a masters from NYU in Media, Culture, and Communication and a B.A. from Yale in English. He is also a self-taught visual artist and documentary filmmaker. In 2014, Glasspiegel directed a short documentary for VICE called Icy Lakea film that connects DJs and vogue dancers across time. 

Selected Publications:

–FADER- The history of documentary photography is particularly rich, esp when it comes to music and contemporary culture:


–Additional videos that I’ve made about footwork for NPR and VICE:



Black electronic dance music, dance on film, ethnomusicology, informal media, performance studies