Following the Human Narratives


Nick is a second year sociocultural anthropology student researching what happens to vacant and abandoned buildings in Detroit. He asserts, “I want to know what happens when people take them apart; the lives of the scrappers and recyclers involved, how things make their way in the world when a building dies. I want to understand […]

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The Wild Idea of a Child Designed Playground


Laura Amtower’s MFA thesis project lies at the nexus of child-centered design, participatory research and curriculum development. Working with students at Ann Arbor S.T.E.A.M. School and their art and design teacher Rachael Van Dyke, Laura recently spearheaded a major, year-long student-led design project: the redesign of the school’s playground. Continue reading at the Stamps School […]

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The Arts of Citizenship Institute for Social Change: Questioning Boundaries, Engaging Communities


Rackham’s Arts of Citizenship Institute for Social Change constitutes a multidisciplinary venue for exploring the conceptual and practical dimensions of public scholarship. The Institute provides socially motivated graduate students an opportunity to raise questions and to discuss possibilities in the context of community-centered research, pedagogy, and practice. I see my doctoral work and my involvement […]

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Exploring the Ethics of Me-Search

The Hamtramck Historical Museum

Movie projectors, dolls, trophies, old hair salon equipment, and a huge “Health Aids Center” display: just a snapshot of the odds and ends that Greg Kowalski, chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Association, pointed out as he snuck our intrepid group of four to the dusty and unsorted upstairs archives. As we discussed the logistics of […]

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GeoSpace + M.I.S.S.I.O.N.


In my last blog post I described the process leading up to a decision to repair and renovate the lower level of a house located at 3501 Stone Street Road. The purpose of this Arts of Citizenship-funded project is to increase available space for weekly Camp Take Notice (CTN) meetings serving the local homeless community […]

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2014 Institute for Social Change


Arts of Citizenship is now accepting applications for the 2014 Institute for Social Change, a hands-on seminar for Rackham students who wish to explore the practical and conceptual dimensions of public scholarship, engaged pedagogy, and community-based research through site visits, hands-on activities, panel discussions, structured reflection, and personalized feedback.

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Grant Update: Available Space for Available People GeoSpace and M.I.S.S.I.O.N.

CTN meeting

It has been almost ten months since I received an Arts of Citizenship grant to explore potential solutions to homelessness in Ann Arbor with M.I.S.S.I.O.N. and its affiliated organization “Camp Take Notice” (CTN). When my proposal titled “Available Space for Available People” was accepted, I had already spent much of my first year of graduate […]

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