Please join us for the 2012-13 concluding IDS Brown Bag on April 11th from 11:30-1:30 in LA 241. Craig Hennigan (Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Communications, Wayne State University) will discuss Racialized Depictions in Detroit Documentary.
There is a large effort being undertaken to revitalize postindustrial rust belt cities. Detroit, Michigan has had an influx of filmmakers documenting that effort to increase business and economic opportunities. While racial tropes and memes have been studied in many forms of fictional narrative films, there is less work done in the documentary genre. Finding racial “semes” in the film Detroit Lives, we see that the documentary style can be used to shut the black body out of discourses of urban revitalization. Because documentary implies truth-telling and recording of history, the style is especially problematic when depicting the black body in ways that omit them from the possession of the city spaces in which they dwell.