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February 21, 2019 | 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Undergraduate Library, David Adamany Bernath Auditorium | Map
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

The Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to host the next Water@Wayne seminar on Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 2:30 p.m to 4:00 p.m. in the Bernath Auditorium located in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library. The seminar is free and open to the public; registration is requested.

The Water@Wayne Seminar Series presents "Taking Their Water for Our City: Archaeology of New York City’s Watershed Communities" with April Beisaw, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Vassar College. April M. Beisaw is an associate professor of Anthropology at Vassar College in New York’s Hudson River Valley. As an archaeologist, April seeks out the material remains of past peoples whose stories have been forgotten or gone untold. Her water research has been published in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology and in the edited volume Contemporary Archaeology and the CityL Creativity, Ruination, and Political Action (McAtackney and Ryzewski - Oxford Press). 


The New York Times regularly runs articles explaining why New York City has “the champagne” of city tap waters -- it comes from pure and rural mountains. But there is nothing natural about NYC’s water. To create the water system, thousands of people lost homes and businesses, and had to sue the City for compensation. To maintain the water system, those living around reservoirs are encouraged to sell their lands, creating landscapes of abandonment where only the wealthy remain. Over the last seven years, my Vassar College students and I have hiked portions of the city-owned watershed to documented the ruins of lives cut short by a distant City. In what was left behind, we can begin to estimate the price that rural people paid for providing clean water to City residents. But these properties also attest to an ongoing conflict, as the Department of Environmental Protection’s land use rules are regularly violated by locals who make these City-owned lands work for them.

A short reception will immediately follow the seminar.

For more information about this event, please contact Kayla Watson at 3135775600 or