HISTORY 491 - Topics in History: HistoryLabs 2
Fall 2019, Section 001 - Cold Cases: Police Violence, Crime, and Social Justice in Michigan
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This research seminar is a HistoryLab course that will investigate unsolved or un-prosecuted cases of racial violence and police misconduct in the city of Detroit from the early 1970s through the early 1990s. 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 interactive maps and reproductions of key documents, photographs, and audiovisual recordings. The class website will be the second project of the Policing and Social Justice HistoryLab, a multiyear initiative to research and document the history of policing and criminalization in Detroit and to map thousands of police-civilian encounters, including allegations of brutality and a comprehensive accounting of homicides by law enforcement. Student teams will choose the cases to investigate in depth from research topics including the escalation of the war on drugs (especially heroin in the 1970s and crack cocaine in the 1980s), the combination of police department reforms and anti-gang street crackdowns under the administration of Coleman Young (the city’s first African American mayor, from 1974 to 1994), and controversies such as the Livernois Five trial in 1975, the fatal Malice Green beating in 1992, and other incidents that we will excavate from the archives. This lab/seminar will take 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. “Cold Cases” is a pilot project of the UM HistoryLabs program, established in 2018 by the History Department to promote public engagement through student-faculty research collaborations and to enhance career skills through applied research, digital technologies, and multimedia publishing platforms.

Course Requirements:

Collaborative production of a website

Intended Audience:

History majors and minors; advanced undergraduates in DAAS, RC, and other departments; students planning careers in law, public policy, and social justice. Interested students should contact the professor directly at mlassite@umich.edu


HISTORY 491 - Topics in History: HistoryLabs 2
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
Th 1:00PM - 4:00PM
9/3/19 - 12/11/19
Note: Interested students must contact the instructor at mlassite@umich.edu to request permission to register.

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