Monday, April 23, 2012
Detroit history and culture the focus of innovative summer course
Detroit will be the focus of an innovative Oakland University summer course, WRT 364: Writing about Culture: Ethnography.
The goal of the course is to utilize Detroit as a way of exploring and writing about culture from the historical and sociological perspectives – and through the lens of cultural studies – examining ways that Detroit is represented in film and on television.
The course will pay particular attention to ethnic enclaves within Detroit and how groups of people have migrated and immigrated to Detroit and dispersed into the Metropolitan area, especially in relation to racial and ethnic tensions and class consciousness. Students will utilize the skills they learned in their writing foundations courses to produce written and visual field notes and ethnographic analysis of specific sites and groups of people within Detroit.
Course materials include the films “Gran Torino” and “8 Mile,” the television drama "Detroit 187," the Prime Time Live segment "Detroit's Agony," and other short documentaries and City of Detroit public relations videos. In addition, students will examine key texts on race, ethnicity and gender and their intersecting histories in American culture in general and Detroit in particular.
Each week, students will visit various sites in Detroit such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Heidelberg Place, Corktown, and Farmer's market, as well as taking a walking tour of downtown Detroit, including the river walk, the Guardian building, Campus Martius, the Compuware building and Greektown.
Although classes are held at the OU Riverview Institute across from Belle Isle, at least half the classes will involve online assignments and independent explorations of Detroit, with the other half divided between classroom discussion and class tours of the Detroit sites.
The four-credit course satisfies requirements in U.S. diversity, knowledge applications and writing intensive course in general education or major. To register for the course, students must have completed WRT 160.
For additional information, contact the course instructor, Dr. Marshall Kitchens, at (248) 370-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. For more information about summer programs, courses and camps available through Oakland, view the website at oakland.edu/summer