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Beautiful Wasteland - Author's Talk

  • Hunt Library / First Floor / Studio B 4909 Frew St Pittsburgh, PA, 15213 United States (map)
Kinney - Beautiful Wasteland cover pic REDUCED.jpg

What is the “new Detroit” that everyone keeps talking about?

Rebecca J. Kinney, Assistant Professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University, will present her new book, "Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America's Postindustrial Frontier", in which she analyzes the centrality of race-making in the contemporary narratives of urban decline and revitalization. 

In her book, Kinney reveals that the contemporary story of Detroit’s rebirth is an upcycled version of the American Dream, which has long imagined access to work, home, and upward mobility as race-neutral projects. She tackles key questions about the future of postindustrial America, and shows how the narratives of Detroit’s history are deeply steeped in material and ideological investments in whiteness. As cities around the country reckon with their own postindustrial landscapes, she cautions that development that elides considerations of race and class will only continue to replicate uneven access to the city for the poor, working class, and people of color.