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Faculty Institute: Detroit
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Faculty Institute: Detroit

Participants will engage in direct observation, mapping exercises, writing assignments, interviews, and discussions. The Institute will culminate with a workshop on adaptations of City as Text™ methodology to participants’ home campuses, to academic service-learning immersion projects, and to residential travel programs. Both the structure and content of this institute apply remarkably well to travel sites of all kinds; we will explore and compare these possibilities together.

6/5/2019 to 6/9/2019
When: June 5-9, 2019
Where: Detroit
United States
Contact: NCHC Office
(402) 472-9150

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Please read the following before registering:

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Questions? Contact the NCHC office at (402) 472-9150 or



Home to the automobile and Motown music, the city of Detroit stands as a “metaphor for America” (Darren Walker, Ford Foundation). After decades of well-publicized decline – including the collapse of the auto industry, burning of
the city center, 78,000 blighted buildings, and a general culture of neglect and corruption – “Motor City” is making a comeback. Leaders shifted the city’s history when they chose to save the Detroit Institute of Art in 2013, and both art and artistry have led the way in the rebirth of the city since then.

Detroit’s boundaries have contracted in an unprecedented fashion – from 2 million residents in the 1940s to 700,000 today – opening up the possibilities of reinventing this unique American urban space. In 2015 Detroit was the first U.S. city to be named a “city of design” by UNESCO, “an honor that recognizes a city’s design legacy and commitment to promote cultural and creative industries” ( In this context, questions arise around what to keep, what to tear down, what to reconstruct, and what to build. Join us at this NCHC Faculty Institute as we examine how Detroit’s history asks us to consider the ways cities rise and fall and sometimes rise again.

The Detroit Renaissance Institute is designed for honors and non-honors faculty and professional staff who wish to incorporate interdisciplinary and field-based elements into their courses and programs. Alumni of earlier NCHC Institutes have used City as Text™ pedagogy in disciplines ranging from the arts and social sciences to math and science. Ideal as integrative learning modalities, these experiential strategies include reflective practices and writing assignments that can be adapted for use in student orientations, campus assessments, and professional development workshops. Identifying and transferring principles of integrative experiential learning are important goals of this Institute.



Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
NCHC Faculty Institutes are development opportunities for honors and non-honors faculty and administrators who wish to incorporate interdisciplinary and field-based elements into their courses and programs.

The City as Text™ experiential strategies of the Institute include reflective practices and projects adaptable to study abroad, service learning, student orientations, campus assessments, and professional development workshops as well as honors courses in any discipline. Identifying and transferring principles of integrative experiential learning are important goals of the Institute.




Participants should arrive in Detroit in time for a 2 p.m. session that opens the Institute on Wednesday, June 5th.

Wednesday, June 5:
Introductions and initial walkabout; debriefing seminar followed by opening reception. Writing time in the evening and dinner in small groups.

Thursday, June 6:
Brief meeting to discuss initial writings and to organize travel routes. All-day explorations of Detroit neighborhoods. Afternoon seminar on readings and site-specific observations. Dinner in small groups followed by writing time.

Friday, June 7:
All-day explorations of Detroit art and greenway spaces as well as other institutions, such as the Heidelberg Project, the Dequindre Cut, and the African Bead Museum. Preparation of Turning Point essays.

Saturday, June 8:
Daylong workshop. Analysis and discussion of group observations and individual Turning Point essays will be followed by a workshop on the application of City as Text™ pedagogy to participants’ home campuses. The Institute will wrap up with a closing dinner.

Sunday, June 9:


NCHC Member Price $1100 (includes lodging accommodations for all four nights)
NCHC Nonmember Price $2200 (includes lodging accommodations for all four nights)
Deadline to Register April 15, 2019






*Price includes on-campus housing during institute




Yousif B. Ghafari Hall, Wayne State University

Ghafari Hall opened in 2002. Institute participants will stay in single-occupancy rooms, fully furnished with a private bath. Each floor has study rooms and social lounges available. Community kitchens available on floors 3 and 5.

All participants will be housed in single occupancy rooms. Institute price includes the price of lodging in provided accommodations. Participants are encouraged to use provided lodging accommodations.

Detroit is accessible by plane or car. Transportation from Detroit Metro Airport to Wayne State University housing is available by cab or Uber/Lyft. Participants can expect to use public transportation, taxis, and Uber/Lyft during the Institute excursions and are responsible for those costs.



If you have any questions regarding your trip specifically, please contact your trip facilitators listed below. They will be sending you more information regarding what to pack, and any supplies you may need for your trip.



Bernice Braid, Long Island University, Brooklyn

Salvatore Musumeci, Catawba College

Sara Quay, Endicott College

Christopher Keller, Western Kentucky University




All requests for refunds MUST be submitted in writing to the national office and RECEIVED no later than thirty days in advance of the trip registration deadline date: February 1, 2019.

  • Received prior to 30 days of registration deadline:          Full refund, less a $350 per person administrative fee
  • Received within 30 days of registration deadline:            No refunds granted

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