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Detroit 101: The Arts of Urban Transition

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DETROIT 101 Lecture Series
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Friday, March 11

The Arts of Urban Transition

Oge Ude
Alexander Quetell
Lauren Wodarski
Undergraduate Students, Princeton University


Ogemdi Ude is a senior in the English department with certificates in Theater and Dance. Last fall, she took The Arts of Urban Transition course in order to learn more about how performance and visual art impacts the communities the work is developed in, and how these artists both hinder and transform urban spaces.

Alex Quetell is a third-year undergraduate studying Visual Arts with certificates in Dance, Environmental Studies, and German Studies at Princeton. He was born and raised in Metro-Detroit, Michigan, and has a deep interest in the city's past, present, and future. His current projects include work as a research assistant for Professor Judith Hamera's project on post-industrial Detroit and performance, and as a choreographer for student dance companies, and music, dance, and theater theses works

Lauren Wodarski is a junior studying Politics, French and Dance from Reno, Nevada. Her concentration is in American Politics, and in urban political inequalities in particular, and it is this interest that prompted her to explore art as a catalyst for urban change and renewal.

The Arts of Urban Transition was a course taught las fall by Judith Hamera, Aaron Landsman, and Aaron Shkuda:

This interdisciplinary course uses texts and methods from history, theatre, and dance to examine artists and works of art as agents of change in New York (1960-present) and contemporary Detroit. Issues include relationships between artists, changing urban economies, and the built environment; gentrification and creative placemaking; local history in art interventions; and impacts of urban arts initiatives. A fall break studio trip to Detroit, and visits to archives and sites in New York, are included. Students will use data and methods from the course to produce final creative projects.





The DETROIT 101 Lecture Series
Curated by Marc Maxey

The story of Detroit is well known: A once thriving ‘motor city’—the fourth largest in the country—now deindustrialized, underpopulated, and struggling to rebuild itself after bankruptcy. Academics are quick to speculate on solutions for the city’s rebirth, tourists visit the ruinous neighborhoods with awe, architects and artists see the city as a blank slate for imaginative proposals. Yet the real story of Detroit goes quietly untold.

The Detroit 101 lecture series at Princeton University’s School of Architecture will focus on the underlying causes that perpetuated Detroit’s decline, and use this as a lens to supplant the usual disciplinary rhetoric and explore new territories across multiple fields of study. With increased attention on Detroit and urgent calls for social justice in America, many disciplines are retelling the city’s history while others are projecting its future. We must ask ourselves: is the contemporary narrative of Detroit based on a fact or fiction?

All events will be held in Betts Auditorium located in the School of Architecture. Lunch will be provided, and all are welcome. For more information, please visit the Princeton University School of Architecture’s main page: soa.princeton.edu

Marc Maxey is a recpient of the 2015 Princeton University Dalai Lama Fellowhip for his project:

A Citizen’s Guide To Real Estate Investment

Detroit 101 was made possible with generous support from the Princeton University Community:
The Lewis Center for the Arts
American Studies Department
Department of African American Studies
Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Office of the Vice President for Campus Life
Office of the Provost
Politics Department
Princeton University School of Architecture
Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities
Dalai Lama Fellows
Architecture Association of Princeton
Woodrow Wilson School
Undergraduate Student Government
Graduate Student Government