RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Fall 2016, Section 004 - UM in the D: The Less Visible Footprint
Instruction Mode: Section 004 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
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Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Upperclass standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


As the University of Michigan approaches its bicentennial celebration in 2017, there will be much talk about its links with Detroit, both the programmatic ties between the campus and the city and the many projects and initiatives the University has undertaken in southeast Michigan. Less visible, but no less interesting — and probably more diverse — is the impact of the many alumni of the University who reside in the city, are involved in its communities and cultural life, and contribute to its economy.

In this seminar, we are going to seek out and interview people who, having graduated from the University, moved to Detroit and now live and work in the city. We will seek to understand what motivated different generations or cohorts of graduates to make these choices; how in retrospect they reflect on their careers and measure their impact; and how they assess the U-M’s relationship with the city — and what it could do better or differently. The aim is to develop a rough profile — across careers, lifestyles, and generations — of how Michigan graduates have made a difference in Detroit and how Detroit has shaped their outlook and made them who they are.

Much of this investigation will be done through interviews and oral histories, backed up by readings and other background material. Initial weeks will be devoted to preparation — assembling a list of individuals (partly from names provided beforehand) that students want to speak with; developing a range of questions — both standard and particular — that will be explored in interviews; learning basic techniques for conducting oral histories and doing a few practice runs. Once prepared, teams of students will conduct weekly sessions in structured sessions with alumni who have agreed to be interviewed. Each team will do perhaps six or seven such interviews with Detroiters. As these progress, the seminar will hold debriefing sessions where we collect, compare, and discuss themes that emerge, and students will be able to bring our findings to bear upon their other courses in SiD, as well as their internship experiences. What becomes of this work will depend on what we turn up, but it will certainly be part of the end-of-term showcase, perhaps of a blog or of presentations around the bicentennial.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

only open to Semester in Detroit program participants

Class Format:

No data submitted


RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
2RC Ugrd
MW 10:00AM - 12:00PM
9/6/16 - 12/13/16
003 (SEM)
 In Person
W 2:00PM - 5:00PM
9/6/16 - 12/13/16
Note: Class meets in Detroit
004 (SEM)
 In Person
W 11:00AM - 2:00PM
9/6/16 - 12/13/16

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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