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Institute for Detroit Studies

The Institute for Detroit Studies at the Marygrove Conservancy promotes interdisciplinary study

of the city of Detroit through

  • lectures, readings, exhibits, and performances

  • online resources

  • research activities and visiting scholar programs

  • workshops, programs, and presentations held on campus  and throughout the metropolitan area


Public Programming 

A series of Detroit-focused lectures, readings, presentations, discussions, exhibits, and performances. The series has brought to the Marygrove campus well-known Detroit scholars, writers, artists, and activists, among them Cholly Atkins, Alvin Aubert, Steve Babson, Beth Tompkins Bates, Lars Bjorn, Terry Blackhawk, Melba Joyce Boyd, Kevin Boyle, Daniel J. Clark, Desiree Cooper, Jim Daniels, Brazeal Dennard, Toi Derricotte, Rose DeSloover, Angela D. Dillard, Jeffrey Eugenides, David M.P. Freund, Jim Gallert, Lolita Hernandez, Rev. Robert Jones, Lawrence Joseph, Douglas Kelbaugh, Jerry Lemenu, Philip Levine, Naomi Long Madgett, Peter Markus, Susan Messer, Chazz Miller, Jeffery Miral, Jane Morris-Crowther, Joyce Carol Oates, Tonya Phillips, Ted Phillips, Suzanne E. Smith, Pam Sporn, Alice Randall, Thomas J. Sugrue, Leslie Woodcock Tentler, June Manning Thomas, Heather Thompson, Rev. Kevin Turman, Nancy Van Goethem, JoEllen McNergney Vinyard, Matt Watroba, Victoria Wolcott, and Michael Zadoorian.

Web Resources  

About IDS           

The Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies (IDS) was established during the celebration of the city's 2001 tricentennial to promote interdisciplinary study of the city of Detroit. IDS was built on Marygrove College’s mission to serve the people of metropolitan Detroit, on its location in the city, and its strong relationship with different Detroit constituencies. IDS aimed to broaden recognition of Detroit’s contributions to American culture, interrogate standard definitions and popular versions of the city, and provide opportunity for cross-disciplinary analysis of issues important to the metropolitan area.

IDS was established and maintained by a multidisciplinary group of Marygrove College faculty: Mary E. Byrnes (sociology), Pao-yu Chou (economics), Rose E. DeSloover (art), Ellen Duncan (music), Mary Lou Greene (art), Jane Hammang-Buhl (business), Barbara A. Johns, IHM (English), Thomas A. Klug (history), Frank D. Rashid (English), and Dena Scher (psychology). It received strong support from President Glenda D. Price, who encouraged its establishment, and from her successors David Fike and Elizabeth Burns and other members of the administration, notably Dean Judith A. Heinen. More information is available on the Founders page.

With the closure of Marygrove College, IDS continues its activities as part of the Marygrove Conservancy. It makes Detroit-focused research and creative work about Detroit available to scholars, policy-makers, the media, and the general public through Defining Detroit and online resources like the Detroit Bibliography and the Detroit Literary Map. IDS offers Detroit scholars, artists, and experts a venue for presentation of work consistent with the IDS mission. IDS provides focused presentations and tours to visiting scholars and others interested in this remarkable city.

IDS has worked in partnership with groups and individuals on projects--like those focused on housing equity and the 2020 census--that address quality-of-life issues and public policy affecting residents of southeastern Michigan.





For more information, please contact:

Frank D. Rashid

Co-founder, Institute for Detroit Studies

8425 West McNichols Road

Detroit, MI 48221


Updated: April 2022

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