This dissertation examines the relationality of dispossession, racialization, and migration in Detroit, connecting the neoliberal rationality of (re)development to its foundations in Indigenous dispossession and racialized labor. “(Sīˈtĭng) Detroit” understands Detroit as a bordertown, where “the border” is the organizing structure and condition for the operation of settler colonialism in Detroit. From the international boundary to the county line, the border is the on-the-ground, everyday method for controlling space, disciplining populations, and limiting mobility for racialized subjects. To examine possession and belonging in a Black city on an international border, this dissertation introduces a “(sīˈtĭng)” — a methodology for locating (siting), seeing (sighting), and discussing (citing) dispossession as a social process and discourse produced and reproduced in the built environment through news reports, maps, plans, statements, advertisements, murals, graffiti, landscape, and architecture. “(Sīˈtĭng) Detroit” cites the sites and sights of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue to halt the dispossessive logics of renewal and redevelopment. Then, it goes “off-site” to unsettle them.
Detroit, visuality, art, borders, cities, dispossession, racialization, migration, Indigeneity, property
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Irwin, Matthew J.. "(Sīˈtĭng) Detroit: Vision and Dispossession in a Midwest Bordertown." (2020). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/amst_etds/98