Memory and the State of the City


LOCATION: 9338 Joseph Campau Hamtramck MI

In this series of discussions we will examine the relationship between memory and the state of Detroit from a psychological, historical and societal perspective.

5pm, Sat April 4: psychologist and psychoanalyst Richard Raubolt will talk about his embryonic research into the relationship between psychic aphasia of “unknown” traumas and the physical environment of the city, as it plays out in the memory of current and former citizens of Detroit.

7pm, Weds April 15: artist and documentarian Kate Levy will talk about her project to map the de- industrialization of Detroit through the history of industrial auctions from the 1950’s onwards. The project has a personal dimension for Levy since her family built a significant global business as the predominant auction house in the city. She uses her project to examine the collective memory of de-industrialization alongside specific family memories.

7pm, Weds April 22: sociologist Martin Murray will talk about the social construction and impact of collective memory, and the political, practical and ethical dimensions of dealing with the remembrance of a painful and unjust past. The discussion will use Martin’s extensive research on “commemorating and forgetting” in post-apartheid South Africa as an analogy through which to approach contemporary issues in Detroit.

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Dr. Richard Raubolt is a licensed psychologist who provides psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and counseling for clients in Grand Rapids and throughout West Michigan. He specializes in treating depression, panic disorders, and trauma. His international teaching has lead to appointments at the Portuguese Psychoanalytic Association and the Chinese American Psychoanalytic Association. He is the author of several books including Theaters of Trauma.

Artist and documentarian Kate Levy uses extensive place-based research to explore issues of social justice through video, photography and artist books. Her projects have addressed water and gentrification issues in Detroit, the impact of the oil boom on North Dakota, and land ownership issues in Kenya. She has an MFA in Advanced Photography from ICP-Bard in New York.

Martin Murray is a professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. He began his lengthy and distinguished academic career as sociologist with a strong foundation in urban geography. His current research engages the fields of urban studies and planning, global urbanism, cultural geography, distressed urbanism, development, historical sociology, and African studies. He is the author of numerous books including “Commemorating and Forgetting: Challenges for the New South Africa.”