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Detroit School Series: James Macmillen, "Progress and Preservation: The Temporality of a Demolition Hearing in Detroit"

Detroit School Series: James Macmillen, "Progress and Preservation: The Temporality of a Demolition Hearing in Detroit"

In this talk, Macmillen traces how the debate between developers, planners, appointed officials, and historic preservationists on the hotel's fate evolved. Using the framework of the anthropology of time, Macmillen recounts how participants employed temporal rhetoric in their claims and counter-claims, engaging with Detroit’s troubled past, offering alternative visions for the city's future, and setting a collision course between developer’s call for urban progress and preservationists’ appeals to memory and heritage.
 

This lecture is part of the Detroit School Series which seeks to stimulate an interdisciplinary conversation on how research on Detroit—a city often seen as an extreme outlier of decline—can produce knowledge that is original and relevant to urban studies globally. The series focuses on ways research in Detroit and other declining cities reveals unique and meaningful phenomena, magnifies the effects of decline invisible in other contexts, and creates opportunities to test hypotheses and evaluate policies difficult to assess in more densely populated areas. 

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