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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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July 6, 2019 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Category: Lecture
Location: Undergraduate Library, David Adamany Bernath Auditorium | Map
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Prospective Students, Staff

Assoc. Professor Krysta Ryzewski
Dept. of Anthropology, Wayne State University

Urban historical archaeology has been practiced in Detroit by professionals for over 60 years, resulting in the location and documentation of hundreds of sites associated with the city’s past residents. This presentation uses historical archaeological data – historic maps, artifacts, oral histories, photographs, and archival records – to reconstruct life in neighborhoods once associated with vibrant ethnic, largely working-class communities in 19th and 20thcentury. These neighborhoods, including the city’s two prior Chinatowns and parts of Corktown, were targeted for erasure by city officials in the name of civic improvement, displacing residents in the process. Historical archaeology brings to light the forgotten, often unwritten histories of the everyday people who lived, worked, and formed communities in these neighborhoods.

About the speaker

Krysta Ryzewski (PhD, Brown 2008) is a historical archaeologist and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit, where she co-leads the Anthropology of the City initiative. Her research in North America and the Caribbean explores the consequences of disruptive socio-environmental pressures on past landscapes, communities, and material culture production. She also has professional backgrounds in heritage management and the materials science sub-field of engineering. Her research involves collaboration with non-academic community partners and is funded by multiple federal and private agencies. Her publications include Contemporary Archaeology and the City: Creativity, Ruination, and Political Action (Oxford University Press, with L. McAtackney). Ryzewski is the 2017 recipient of the Society for Historical Archaeology’s John L. Cotter Award, the most prestigious recognition for a junior scholar in the field. She currently serves as an appointee to Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Review Board.

For more information about this event, please contact Haiyong Liu at (313) 577-9937 or