Wayne State University offers class on Detroit’s ‘historic comeback’

Wayne State University

Is Detroit in the midst of a comeback?

Wayne State University believes it so much that it’s offering the nation’s first class on the city’s “historic comeback” as Detroit wends its way through bankruptcy court.

The course, Detroit: Metropolis in Transition, will run from May 7 to July 2. The open-enrollment class is available to all Wayne State students, guests and non-degree-seeking professionals.

Instead of having a permanent professor, the class will be taught as a guest-lecture series featuring Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, former Councilman Kenneth Cockerel Jr., Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher, the executive director of the Southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority and experts on urban issues.

The class will include field trips and classic textbooks.

“This unique course from our Department of Urban Studies and Planning is an opportunity for students to reap the benefits of Wayne State’s longstanding position as the state’s premier urban, public research university,” said Wayne State University Provost Margaret E. Winters. “Our location in the heart of Midtown, our world-class faculty, and our close relationship with the city allow Wayne State to offer an authentic educational experience unlike any other.”

The class will cover the city’s storied past, move to the present-day financial struggles and end with visions for Detroit’s future.

“History is being made almost every day here in Detroit,” said Robin Boyle, professor and chairman of WSU’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. “From urban economic development and housing to food planning and community development, there isn’t a more dynamic urban environment in the world. Detroit: Metropolis in Transition will give people a chance to be part of history instead of learning about it in a class years from now.”

The three-hour class will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Current Wayne State students may enroll at www.wayne.edu/register. Guest students may enroll at www.summer.wayne.edu. And non-degree-seeking visitors may call the university’s Educational Outreach department at 313-577-4682.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • 1Joshua

    what kind of professorial bottom feeder would teach this class? What is rising in Detroit is barbarism, unchecked. http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/28/detroit-and-the-international-war-of-the-rich-on-the-poor/

  • Stephan Palazzolo

    Such is the case of horrific black-on-white assaults in America. Though the Holy Grail of racial hatred (the murder of Emmett Till) is constantly brought up as a way to shame all living white people – the blood of Till is on your hands, whitey! – stories such as a beating of a white man by blacks in 83 percent black Detroit must quickly be put in box and nailed shut.

  • Stephan Palazzolo

    Must smoke kush b4 attending this class to be believable.

  • bebow

    With 5% of the city in comeback mode and 95% in a state of violent, lawless ruin, reports of Detroit’s comeback are premature and greatly exaggerated. The constant buzzing and boosting from below are symptoms of denial, a perfectly fine defense mechanism on a short-term basis that becomes a serious problem itself with overuse. Policing and demolishing on a scale appropriate for the circumstances will be signs of a willingness to accept reality and move in the direction of lasting, meaningful change. It’s good to celebrate progress on the road to recovery but unhelpful, at best, to characterize each step forward in downtown and Midtown as the story of what’s happening in Detroit at this moment in time. Action doesn’t happen when denial is in play. The reality of Detroit is a full-frontal assault to the senses, but there is no alternative to facing it if we wish to stay on our feet after bankruptcy.

  • Dust Buster

    after this class i recommend all students take the course “lions march to the superbowl”