RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Fall 2020, Section 003 - 20th Century Detroit History
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  Online (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:


This course will explore the history of Detroit and the southeast Michigan region during the twentieth century. We will track important social, economic, and political transformations in the city’s history: the persistence and impact of racial and ethnic conflicts; the ways in which class conflicts have shaped the urban landscape and the workplace; the impact of immigration on Detroit’s social and political development; the interplay between the auto industry and the urban environment; the on-going struggles over political power and for control of the city; and the changing ways the city is represented, both among its citizens and in the broader American consciousness. Our investigation into Detroit history is designed to clarify how the city’s past has created the conditions and circumstances of the present. Thus, while the course is organized chronologically and will include an overview of industrial expansion in the early 20th Century, our emphasis will be on the period during and after World War II, when Detroit, like many other American cities, underwent a series of interlocking changes in social structure and political economy that have had a continuing impact on contemporary problems and possibilities. We will examine the wartime economic expansion of the 1940s and 1950s; the patterns of racial conflict that shaped struggles over housing, jobs, public spaces, and political power in the city; the central role Detroit played in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, as well the artistic and cultural production of this era; the patterns of white flight and the strategies of urban renewal deployed from the 1950s through the 1970s; the economic crisis of the 1970s and its impact on the racial configuration of city politics; and ensuing conflicts over urban planning, regional development; downtown revitalization; and community defense during the 1980s and 1990s. The aim of these inquiries is to highlight the relationship between past and present in Detroit and to develop a framework for understanding and interpreting the current conditions and conundrums in the city.

Course Requirements:

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Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

Instruction Mode:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning.


RCSSCI 360 - Social Science Junior Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
1RC Ugrd
MW 10:00AM - 12:00PM
002 (SEM)
14RC Ugrd
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
003 (SEM)
W 10:00AM - 1:00PM
004 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
006 (SEM)
2RC Ugrd
Th 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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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