Dora Apel

 October 5, 2022.

Dora ApelW. Hawkins Ferry Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary Art History at Wayne State University, returns to the program to talk about her book Beautiful, Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline, published by Rutgers University Press in 2015.

"In Beautiful Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline, Dora Apel goes on the offensive against the myriad myths and delusions peddled about the Motor City; not only that, she rebuffs the blame and shame that have traditionally been directed at the Detroit citizenry, and redirects our attention to the corporations and bureaucrats who have abandoned it. The result is a work that seems to invigorate a depressed debate and ask timely questions about social values in America and the world it influences." ― Los Angeles Review of Books

"In the early twentieth century, Detroit was defined by Charles Sheeler's photos of the River Rouge plant and Diego Rivera's murals of work. Today, the hulking ruins of old industrial buildings and empty skyscrapers symbolize the city. In this provocative analysis, informed by urban geography, political economy, and art history, Dora Apel reflects on what images of ruined Detroit teach us about the city,  popular culture, and American capitalism." -- Thomas J. Sugrue ― The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit



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