Detroit, MI

Detroit Renaissance:

Challenges and Choices

Detroit, MI | June 5-9, 2019
Registration Deadline: March 1, 2019

* Registration Fees now include 4-night accommodations! *

Register Here

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Home to the automobile and Motown music, the city of Detroit stands as a “metaphor for America” (Darren Walker, Ford Foundation). After decades of well-publicized decline – including the collapse of the auto industry, burning of the city center, 78,000 blighted buildings, and a general culture of neglect and corruption – “Motor City” is making a comeback. Leaders shifted the city’s history when they chose to save the Detroit Institute of Art in 2013, and both art and artistry have led the way in the rebirth of the city since then. Detroit’s boundaries have contracted in an unprecedented fashion – from 2 million residents in the 1940s to 700,000 today – opening up the possibilities of reinventing this unique American urban space. In 2015 Detroit was the first U.S. city to be named a “city of design” by UNESCO, “an honor that recognizes a city’s design legacy and commitment to promote cultural and creative industries” ( In this context, questions arise around what to keep, what to tear down, what to reconstruct, and what to build. Join us at this NCHC Faculty Institute as we examine how Detroit’s history asks us to consider the ways cities rise and fall and sometimes rise again.

Participants will engage in direct observation, mapping exercises, writing assignments, interviews, and discussions. The Institute will culminate with a workshop on adaptations of City as Text™ methodology to participants’ home campuses, to academic service-learning immersion projects, and to residential travel programs. Both the structure and content of this institute apply remarkably well to travel sites of all kinds; we will explore and compare these possibilities together.


(included in institute cost)

Yousif B. Ghafari Hall, Wayne State University
Ghafari Hall opened in 2002. Institute participants will stay in single-occupancy rooms, fully furnished with a private bath. Each floor has study rooms and social lounges available. Community kitchens available on floors 3 and 5.

Costs & Deadlines

$1,100 with non-refundable fee of $350. This cost covers accommodations for four nights at Wayne State University (just $56/night), institute reading materials, instructional fees, opening reception, and final group dinner. It does not include travel to and from Detroit, local transportation, or most meals.

Registration Deadline:
March 1, 2019

Payment Deadlines:
March 1, 2019: $350 Deposit
April 15, 2019: Balance Due