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Michigan/Mellon Colloquium

March 29, 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?


  • Ana Sabau, U-M Romance Languages & Literature
    “Cartographies of Rebellion: Perspectives on Mexico’s Caste War”
  • Meredith Miller and Thomas Moran, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
    “Detroit Reassembly Plant”
  • Paulina Reyes, Michigan Mellon Design Fellow
    “Civil Society and Equitable Social Housing in Mexico City”

To join, please RSVP by March 21st

More about the speakers:

Ana Sabau 
Ana Sabau is Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on 19th century Latin America (primarily Mexico) and include both written and visual culture. She is interested in indigenous studies, the intersection between religion and political thought, and the intertwining of science, technology, and culture. She is currently working on a book-length manuscript tentatively titled Revolutions and Revelations: An Archaeology of Political Imagination in 19th Century Mexico that traces different theories of equality by looking at how the concept of “revolution” changed over time throughout the long 19th century. The project represents an effort to unsettle traditional, nationalist narratives of 19th Century Mexican history, political thinking, and culture.

Meredith Miller and Thomas Moran
T+E+A+M is a collaboration between Thom Moran, Ellie Abrons, Adam Fure, and Meredith Miller. They are assistant professors of architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Collectively, their work centers on architecture’s physicality as an agent of cultural, environmental, and urban production. T+E+A+M was one of twelve practices invited to exhibit in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Bienniale.

Paulina Reyes
Paulina Reyes is a designer working in architecture, research, and issues of water sustainability and low-income public housing, with a particular focus on Mexico City. She graduated with distinction from Carnegie Mellon University (B.Arch 2014) and recently completed her Fulbright in Mexico City as an independent researcher. She is currently continuing her research as a design fellow with University of Michigan’s Michigan/ Mellon Fellowship in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis.


March 29, 2017
10:00 am - 1:30 pm