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Michigan/Mellon Colloquium

February 20, 2017 at 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

Michigan/Mellon Colloquium

The Michigan/Mellon Project on Egalitarianism and the Metropolis, a 4-year academic and research initiative focused on architecture, urbanism and humanities research in Detroit, Mexico City DF and Rio de Janeiro, is made possible by a $1.3 million grant from the A. W. Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation’s Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities is a new initiative in the Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities program interested in establishing multidisciplinary research programs that can generate new insights into changing urban conditions. The project allows the particularity of design practices to inform and be informed by broader questions of social justice, social movements and transformative creative arts movements –  both historically and contemporaneously.

Michigan-Mellon Colloquia this fall are three and a half hours in length including a lunch and will address the following questions:

  • What do contemporary conceptions of justice demand of us as academics, activists and cultural workers?
  • What aspects of conventional city-making (planning, architectural and urban design, landscape design, private and public investment, etc.) are ripe for re-invention, overturning, or reconsideration in light of how lived experiences of the urban poor and others are falling short of our expectations?  
  • What role does racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, and nation of origin play in attempting to construct a more egalitarian city in Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City and/or Detroit?


  • Peter Hammer, Wayne State University Law School
    “Connecting the Dots: Spatial-Structural Racism in Detroit”
  • Daniel Nemser, U-M Romance Languages & Literature
    “Infrastructures of Race and the Urbanization of Colonial Mexico”
  • Michael Stauch, Michigan Mellon Humanities Fellow
    “Carceral Geography and the Spatial Practices of Community Policing in 1970s Detroit”

To join, please RSVP by February 10th

More on the speakers:

Peter Hammer
A professor at Wayne State University Law School since 2003, Peter Hammer is the director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Professor Hammer has expertise in the fields of domestic health law and policy, as well as international public health and economic development. He is a recipient of an Investigator Award in Health Policy Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and served as lead editor for Uncertain Times: Kenneth Arrow and the Changing Economics of Health Care, a book published by Duke University Press (2003).

Daniel Nemser
Daniel Nemser is an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Michigan. His work focuses on race, materiality, and history in colonial Latin America. His book Infrastructures of Race: Concentration and Biopolitics in Colonial Mexico is forthcoming from the University of Texas Press in May 2017, and recent essays have appeared in journals like the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Política Común, and Colonial Latin American Review.

Michael Stauch
Michael Stauch received his PhD in U.S. History at Duke University. Michael is the co-author of an article on radical German exile communities in London that appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Terrorism and Political Violence, as well as a forthcoming entry on the Urban League in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism, and reviews appearing in Labour / Le Travail and Comparativ. He has presented papers at conferences for the Labor and Working-Class History Association, appeared as a panelist at the North American Labor History Conference, and given numerous presentations in the community.


February 20, 2017
10:00 am - 1:30 pm