Book cover for Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America's Postindustrial Frontier

October 20, 2016
5:00-6:30 pm
Studio B, Hunt Library (1st floor)

What is the “new Detroit” that everyone keeps talking about?

Rebecca J. Kinney will address themes from her new book, Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America's Postindustrial Frontier. The book reveals that the contemporary story of Detroit’s rebirth is an upcycled version of the American Dream, which has long imagined access to work, home, and upward mobility as race-neutral projects. She tackles key questions about the future of postindustrial America, and shows how the narratives of Detroit’s history are deeply steeped in material and ideological investments in whiteness. As cities around the country reckon with their own postindustrial landscapes, Rebecca Kinney cautions that development that elides considerations of race and class will only continue to replicate uneven access to the city for the poor, working class, and people of color.  


Rebecca J. Kinney is an assistant professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University. Her book, Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America's Postindustrial Frontier analyzes the centrality of race-making in the contemporary narratives of urban decline and revitalization. Her research and teaching interests include:  comparative ethnic studies; urban studies; and American studies. She is currently at work on a book-length study, Rust Belt Chinatowns: Restaurants, Race, and Redevelopment in the Twenty First Century which analyzes the complexities of race and redevelopment by looking at “Asian American” space.

Sponsored by the School of Architecture and the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University.

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