A resource guide for students, educators, researchers, Michiganders, and everyone else
Teaching in Context: Placing EMU in Southeast Michigan began as an interdisciplinary Seminar sponsored by Eastern Michigan University’s Faculty Development Center and led by Professors Sylvia Sims-Gray and Lynn Nybell. The Seminar consisted of a multi-disciplinary group of EMU faculty members, lecturers and doctoral students with an interest in collaboratively building knowledge of, curiosity for and commitment to the Southeast Michigan region through critical reading and sustained dialogue.
Southeast Michigan is at the center of an international debate about the future of urban centers, the fate of industrialism, the state of race relations and the prospects for the nation’s poor and working people. The aim of the Seminar was to examine the ways in which our own teaching, research and our vision of the University could be inflected and enriched by an understanding of EMU’s location in and contribution to southeast Michigan. Our effort was to better understand our students, consider our constraints and enliven our possibilities as teachers and researchers by critically reading current analyses and representations of the region that shapes EMU and its community.
The Seminar was convened in Fall of 2011, and participants continued to meet at their own initiative through 2013. Even now, Seminar leaders and participants are seeking to continue to create ways to dialogue about the impact of its regional context on teaching and learning at EMU.
Readings for the seminar initially drew on current books, films and other media about the history, politics, sociology and artistic expression of Detroit and the Southeast Michigan region. A working list of books, videos and other resources were gathered in an EMU Library Guide.