HISTORY 393 - Topics in U.S. History
Fall 2018, Section 001 - Cold Cases: Police Violence, Crime, and Racial Justice in Michigan
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:


This research seminar is a new History Lab course that will investigate unsolved or un-prosecuted cases of racial violence and police misconduct in the city of Detroit during the 1960s and 1970s. Members of the seminar will work in teams, conduct archival and database research, interview historical participants, and collaborate in creating an online museum-style digital exhibit that combines historical narratives with reproductions of key documents, photographs, and audiovisual recordings. The class website will be the pilot project of a new Policing and Social Justice Lab designed to create an online database of thousands of police killings in Detroit and to ‘solve’ particular cases through detective field work and presentation of evidentiary findings to a public audience. Detroit police officials and city leaders resisted calls for a civilian review board made by civil rights activists in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to few substantive investigations and almost no prosecutions of police violence and misconduct. Student teams will choose the cases to investigate in depth; possibilities include the mass arrest of 1,500 young black men in a 1961 murder investigation, the shooting of sex worker Cynthia Scott in 1963 that launched a broad anti-police brutality campaign, the real-life stories behind the 43 fatalities caused by law enforcement and soldiers during the Detroit riot/rebellion of 1967, and the undercover STRESS unit that killed seventeen black residents between 1971 and 1973. This lab/seminar will take U-M students off campus, including multiple research trips to Detroit, and produce a website designed to contribute historical knowledge to current debates over policing and crime, racial and social justice, and mass incarceration in modern America.

Course Requirements:

Collaborative production of a website

Intended Audience:

History majors and minors; advanced undergraduates in DAAS, RC, and other departments; students interested in careers in law, public policy, and social justice


HISTORY 393 - Topics in U.S. History
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
9/4/18 - 12/11/18

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