Detroit

Celebrating University Press Week: November 9-16

by Phillip Witteveen November 10, 2014

The publishing community celebrates University Press Week November 9-16, 2014. University presses provide access to ideas, playing a unique role in fostering scholarship. Each university press has a diverse list of titles, shaped by their history, directors, acquisitions editors, location, and parent institutions. With titles ranging from maritime studies to folklore and field guides, the unique history and culture of the Mitten State and its Great Lakes are traced in print via the publishing activity of our three university presses. From Michigan State University Press: Beyond Pontiac’s Shadow provides a fresh look at an important moment in the history of Michigan and Canada. Brian […]

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Craig Maki Featured on Detroit’s Channel 4

by Phillip Witteveen September 12, 2014

“When you think of music associated with Detroit, you instantly think about Motown, jazz,” says Channel 4 news anchor Guy Gordon.  “Electronica comes to mind,” he says. “But there’s another genre you need to consider,” says Karen Drew, rounding out the other half of the classic two-anchor combo. “And that is Rockabilly—country, rock and blues combined—and it really has deep roots in Detroit, but not a lot of people realize that.” Channel 4’s Uniquely Detroit then cuts to a potpourri of video footage. The soundbites, sampled from the old stars of the Rockabilly scene, go from Johnny Powers of Utica, Michigan, who recorded alongside […]

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Craig Maki talks ‘Detroit Country Music’ on Stateside

by Phillip Witteveen June 30, 2014

On Michigan Public Radio, Detroit Country Music co-author Craig Maki recently exhibited Detroit’s lesser-known country and bluegrass roots. Stemming from Appalachia to the West, intranational immigration to Southeast Michigan brought with it the blues-infused soul of  “the end of the 19th century cowboy experience.” Lured to Detroit “not only at the invitation of the automakers, but also family members would call their cousins or their in-laws to come up and join them,” a migrated, country culture made a kind of tensile contact with our more Northern sensibilities. Artists like the York Brothers re-imagined a Michigan of “Hamtramck Mama,” a single which was banned by that eponymous city’s mayor, […]

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Backlist Spotlight: ‘Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW’

by Phillip Witteveen June 3, 2014

Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW has long been recognized “essential reading for historians of labor and race in America,” and with the current interest in Detroit as well as labor issues nationwide, August Meier and Elliott Rudwick’s seminal title may be worth another look. The book began as an isolated case of the NAACP’s involvement with organized labor: the 1941 United Auto Worker’s strike against the Ford Motor Company. This strike, remembered as a crucial stage in the Association’s concern with economic issues and cooperation with unions, was only the impressive looking tip of the iceberg. “As our research proceeded,” wrote […]

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‘Butch Queens Up in Pumps’ Reviewed in Lambda Literary Review

by Meredith Kahn March 11, 2014

Comparative Literature scholar Chase Dimock recently reviewed Marlon M. Bailey’s Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit in the Lambda Literary Review. Dimock praises Bailey’s Butch Queens as a rigorous piece of scholarship, and notes that the book treats its subjects with respect and care, reading “personally and emotionally in a way that few academic studies achieve” thanks to Bailey’s personal experiences and involvement in Detroit Ballroom culture. Read the full review online.

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