"Detroit, Global City: The Motor City in the World" 9/23-9/24, 2011
The American Studies Program at Wayne State University, Detroit MI, invites papers on the theme, "Detroit, Global City: The Motor City in the World," scheduled for September 23 and 24, 2011.
Although it is a border city and the home of several multinational corporations and international unions, Detroit is rarely considered as a global city like Los Angeles, New York, or London. This conference will explore the city's present, past, and future place in the economies, politics, and imaginations of the nation and the world. We hope to move beyond nostalgic remembrances of Detroit's past and familiar narratives of loss—of jobs, residents, architecture, etc.—to a fuller discussion of Detroit's place in the world and its links to other cities. We invite papers on Detroit, as both concept and physical space, on topics including: the folkways, foodways, and musical traditions of the city's immigrant communities; rebellion and internationalism; the "rust belt" in the American imagination; Detroit and the media; racial politics and the city; migration and labor; gender and sexuality; the cultural politics of Fordism at home and abroad; the circulation of Detroit literature and music; suburbanization; and the politics of the northern U.S. border. Papers exploring links between Detroit and other cities are encouraged. NYU's Greg Grandin, author of Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City, will deliver a keynote address.