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Irene Butter: From Holocaust to Hope

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 5:11pm

Irene Butter has shared the stage with the Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Desmond Tutu, and other peacemakers. She is one of the few Holocaust survivors still alive but she has never told her entire story until now.

Irene Butter's definitive biography, Shores Beyond Shores: From Holocaust to Hope, My True Story, brings a fresh, moving tale to the vital genre of Holocaust narratives. Irene’s relationship with her brother Werner allows us to navigate the horrors of concentration camp life with a trusted friend. Her connection to an orphan Polish boy and to Lex, her first love, allow us to explore a displaced persons camp in Algeria and finally, to watch her find her way home. It allows us a rare glimpse into the intimacy of family life during a time in history when many families fell apart.

This timeless story speaks to what we must strive to uphold. It’s about the importance of family, of never being a bystander to violence, and of the strength of the human spirit.

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Unlikely Conductors - Underground Railroad

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 3:24pm

We learn in history class that the Underground Railroad was extremely instrumental in aiding slaves escaping captivity and searching for freedom. What we don't learn about is the role that Native Americans, who sometimes were slaves themselves, played in helping those slaves get to freedom. 

Join Heather Bruegl, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and learn about the important role that Native American people played in the Underground Railroad.

Bruegl, inspired by a trip to Wounded Knee, South Dakota, quickly developed a passion for Native American History. Curiosity for her own heritage led her to Wisconsin, where she researched the history of the Native American tribes of that region. 

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Farm Meals Mentioned in Ypsilanti Farm Diaries

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 5:13pm

The stories and recollections of Washtenaw County farm women held by the Ypsilanti Historical Society provide a record of daily life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Local author and historian Laura Bien presents research on handwritten diaries that reflect, in their own words, the everyday work farm women performed: gardening, harvesting, butchering, processing, preserving and cooking food for their families, supplementing the family income through the sale of eggs and produce, adapting to technological changes, and organizing work at the homestead.

This event is in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA), an organization of scholars, cooks, food writers, nutritionists, collectors, students, and others interested in the study of culinary history and gastronomy. Their mission is to promote the study of culinary history through regular programs open to members and guests, through the quarterly newsletter Repast, and through exchanges of information with other such organizations.

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Lecture

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 3:18pm

Walter Everett, Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, presents an analysis of the Beatles' iconic album. 

Professor Everett is the author of the two-volume study, The Beatles as Musicians, and of The Foundations of Rock, from Oxford University Press.

He is currently coauthoring two books: one, with Tim Riley, a textbook aimed at undergraduates not majoring in music that contextualizes the Beatles within the cultural events and attitudes that they helped shaped, and another book with Katie Kapurch on sex and gender in rock music.

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The Jane Austen Project: Kathleen Flynn In Conversation with Laura Thomas

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 11:11am

Kathleen Flynn and Laura Thomas discuss Flynn's debut novel, The Jane Austen Project. Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel.

Kathleen A. Flynn is an editor at the New York Times, where she works at "The Upshot." She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their shy fox terrier, Olive.

Laura Hulthen Thomas heads the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan's Residential College, where she teaches fiction and creative nonfiction.

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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.