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#46 Ann Arbor Stories: The Battle of Ann Arbor

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 5:34am

Four nights of rioting, dozens of injuries to cops and citizens, and more than 70 arrests—it was an event The Detroit Free Press dubbed “The Battle of Ann Arbor”. What sparked this violence and how did the insane scene play out in the summer of 1969?


Music by FAWNN & ZShipps

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West African Art and Music in Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing, with Victoria Shields

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:56pm

Drawing from the African American Cultural Humanities (AC) curriculum, Educator Victoria Shields leads a workshop for music and art lovers with discussion of the 2018 Washtenaw Read, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. Shields examines the social and historical contexts presented in Homegoing using music — including a focus on how West Africa influenced American music — as well as visual art from the Detroit Institute of Art collection.

Shields is a doctoral student in the Eastern Michigan University Urban Education program focusing on curriculum development and programming. She conducts teacher training at state and national conferences and focuses on the development of Humanities and Social Science curriculum with the integration of music, dance and visual art. 

This event is part of programming for the 2018 Washtenaw Read.

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#45 Ann Arbor Stories: Highway Snipers

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:30am

There wasn't a lot of traffic on M-14 on that last day of August 1981. It was 3am. Semi trucks bound for points in Michigan and throughout the Midwest, cars carrying people headed to work, cars taking people home after long nights. It was at this time on this day on this stretch of highway that more than 200 bullets rained down on speeding cars, trucks and semis, causing mass panic and chaos. This is the story of the 1981 highway snipers.

Music by Michna and Ben Benjamin, courtesy of GhoLicense.

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Author Alexandra Zapruder Discusses Her Book About The Kennedy Assassination, "Twenty-Six Seconds"

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 9:17am

Discover the moving, untold family story behind Abraham Zapruder’s film footage of the Kennedy assassination and its lasting impact on our world.

Abraham Zapruder didn’t know when he ran home to grab his video camera on November 22, 1963, that this single spontaneous decision would change his family’s life for generations to come. Originally intended as a home movie of President Kennedy’s motorcade, Zapruder’s film of the JFK assassination is now shown in every American history class, included in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit questions, and referenced in novels and films. It is the most famous example of citizen journalism, a precursor to the iconic images of our time, such as the Challenger explosion, the Rodney King beating, and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.

But few know the complicated legacy of the film itself. Now Abraham’s granddaughter, Alexandra Zapruder, is ready to tell the complete story for the first time. In this video, Zapruder discusses her book, Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film; part biography, part family history, and part historical narrative, Zapruder demonstrates how one man’s unwitting moment in the spotlight shifted the way politics, culture, and media intersect, bringing about the larger social questions that define our age.

This event was a partnership with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor as part of the 2017 Jewish Book Festival.

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A Comics Presentation with Nate Powell

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 9:25am

Why are graphic novels so good at capturing history? Find out when Nate Powell stops by AADL for this presentation. Best known for his work on the award-winning March series he co-created with Andrew Aydin and legendary Civil Rights activist Congressman John Lewis, Powell explores many of the unique and immersive storytelling principles used in comics.

Powell’s work also includes You Don’t SayAny EmpireSwallow Me WholeThe Silence of Our Friends, and The Year of the Beasts. If you’ve ever wanted to tap into the power of graphic novels to explore history, or just wanted a deeper look into why they move us as readers, you won’t want to miss this!

Special thanks to the Conflict and Peace Initiative at the University of Michigan’s International Institute. This event was part of the Fall 2017 social justice events series: Marching Forward.

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Author M. Joanne Nesbit Discusses Her Book "Legendary Locals of Ann Arbor, Michigan"

Sun, 12/03/2017 - 3:21pm

Graced by the Huron River with an abundance of parks, Ann Arbor offers residents and visitors entertainment, sports, shopping, dining, and of course, the University of Michigan.

Legendary Locals of Ann Arbor, Michigan celebrates its citizens. Many are creative artists, inspiring educators, dedicated public servants, and determined business owners. With the exception of Lewis the cat, who reigned at Downtown Home and Garden, this book is filled with stories about people who have made and are making Ann Arbor one of the best places to live in the United States.

Co-author Joanne Nesbit discusses some of the great stories they discovered while putting together the book and how local legends were selected. With a career spanning journalism and as a public information officer at Indiana University and the University of Michigan, Nesbit has always been fascinated by local history, stories, and people. She is the author of three other books, and is the founder of Knitwits at the University of Michigan.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin Bandyke interviews Ann Powers, author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music.

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 2:49pm

In this sweeping history of popular music in the United States, National Public Radio’s acclaimed music critic examines how popular music shapes fundamental American ideas and beliefs, allowing us to communicate difficult emotions and truths about our most fraught social issues, most notably sex and race.

In Good Booty, Ann Powers explores how popular music became America’s primary erotic art form. Powers takes us from nineteenth-century New Orleans through dance-crazed Jazz Age New York to the teen scream years of mid-twentieth century rock-and-roll to the cutting-edge adventures of today’s web-based pop stars. Drawing on her deep knowledge and insights on gender and sexuality, Powers recounts stories of forbidden lovers, wild shimmy-shakers, orgasmic gospel singers, countercultural perverts, soft-rock sensitivos, punk Puritans, and the cyborg known as Britney Spears to illuminate how eroticism—not merely sex, but love, bodily freedom, and liberating joy—became entwined within the rhythms and melodies of American song. This cohesion, she reveals, touches the heart of America's anxieties and hopes about race, feminism, marriage, youth, and freedom.

In a survey that spans more than a century of music, Powers both heralds little known artists such as Florence Mills, a contemporary of Josephine Baker, and gospel queen Dorothy Love Coates, and sheds new light on artists we think we know well, from the Beatles and Jim Morrison to Madonna and Beyoncé. In telling the history of how American popular music and sexuality intersect—a magnum opus over two decades in the making—Powers offers new insights into our nation psyche and our soul.

Martin’s interview with Ann Powers was recorded on September 27, 2017.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin Bandyke interviews Dylan Jones, author of David Bowie: A Life.

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 2:46pm

Dylan Jones’s engrossing, magisterial biography of David Bowie is unlike any Bowie story ever written. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. Tracing Bowie’s life from the English suburbs to London to New York to Los Angeles, Berlin, and beyond, its collective voices describe a man profoundly shaped by his relationship with his schizophrenic half-brother Terry; an intuitive artist who could absorb influences through intense relationships and yet drop people cold when they were no longer of use; and a social creature equally comfortable partying with John Lennon and dining with Frank Sinatra.

By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, David Bowie: A Life is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with admiration and grievances, lust and envy, as the speakers bring you into studios and bedrooms they shared with Bowie, and onto stages and film sets, opening corners of his mind and experience that transform our understanding of both artist and art. Including illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones’s interviews with him across two decades, David Bowie is an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time.

Martin’s interview with Dylan Jones was recorded on September 21, 2017.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers: Martin talks to Howard Markel, author of The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 10:09am

John Harvey Kellogg was one of America’s most beloved physicians; a best-selling author, lecturer, and health-magazine publisher; founder of the Battle Creek Sanitarium; and patron saint of the pursuit of wellness. His youngest brother, Will, was the founder of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, which revolutionized the mass production of food and what we eat for breakfast.

In The Kelloggs, Howard Markel tells the sweeping saga of these two extraordinary men, whose lifelong competition and enmity toward one another changed America’s notion of health and wellness from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, and who helped change the course of American medicine, nutrition, wellness, and diet.

As Markel chronicles the Kelloggs’ fascinating, Magnificent Ambersons–like ascent into the pantheon of American industrialists, we see the vast changes in American social mores that took shape in diet, health, medicine, philanthropy, and food manufacturing during seven decades—changing the lives of millions and helping to shape our industrial age.

Martin’s interview with Howard Markel was recorded on August 23, 2017.

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Doug Stanton Discusses His New Book: "The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War"

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 4:10pm

On January 31st, 1968 as many as 100,000 North Vietnamese soldiers attacked thirty-six cities throughout South Vietnam in an attack known as the Tet Offensive. This was a turning point in the decade-long war that led to, among other things, President Johnson’s decision not to run for re-election. It was a national watershed moment, but for 19-year-old Stan Parker and the young men of the US Army’s recon platoon, Echo Company of the 101st Airborne Division, the attack was the start of a brutal fight for survival.

As the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive approaches, The Odyssey of Echo Company offers a breathtaking portrait of war, homecoming, and a search for peace.

More than ten years in the making, and based on hours of interviews with soldiers, detailed letters written to and from Echo Company, Pentagon after-action reports, photographs and video footage, this new book by the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers offers the untold and remarkable story of a platoon of American soldiers and their heroic efforts to survive the Vietnam War – both on the battlefield and after their return home to the US.

Doug Stanton is a journalist, lecturer, screenwriter, and author who has appeared on numerous TV and radio outlets, including NBC’s “Today,” CNN, Imus In The Morning, Discovery, A&E, Fox News, NPR, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and NBC’s Nightly News, and has been covered extensively in prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times. He has written on travel, sport, entertainment, and history, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, the New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Slate, The Daily Beast, and the Washington Post.