Latina/o Studies and the Department of History have joined with the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on an innovative graduate course for Winter 2021.  Students will work collaboratively with peers in small research teams with guidance by instructors Anthony Mora, interim Director of Latina/o Studies, and John Carson, Associate Professor of History. The research content of the course will focus on working with the DIA staff to create an interpretive plan for a virtual field trip for the K-12 classroom exploring Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals in the DIA. This includes developing a big idea/desired student outcomes; shaping the overall experience structure; doing relevant content research; making media recommendations and identifying associated content, and producing scripts/writings/storyboards.  

The class will be divided into teams with each responsible for putting together a collection of documents related to three themes in the murals identified by the DIA: Machinery vs. Nature; People at the Ford Rouge Plant; and Indigenous/Mexican Cultural Connections: “México de Afuera.”   Together, teams will collaborate on all tasks – from identifying primary sources, offering options to the DIA, writing document descriptions, to presenting the collection to the museum stakeholders.  The class as a whole will present their work to museum stakeholders, meet with staff, and use the museum and other archives and collections of material objects as part of the process of creating the collection if visits become possible this term.  Rather than the usual article-length, primary source-based research paper, the final product of this course will be the content for the DIA Diego Rivera mural teaching project.