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Andrew Robert Highsmith F'09, F'08

Andrew Robert Highsmith

Assistant Professor
University of Texas, San Antonio
last updated: 07/15/14

Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships 2009
Department: History
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Demolition Means Progress: Race, Class, and the Deconstruction of the American Dream in Flint, Michigan

This project analyzes the structural barriers to racial equality and economic opportunity in metropolitan Flint, Michigan, from World War II to the present. It unravels the complex cultural and policy bonds among racially segregated schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces and explores how Flint became an international symbol of the Rust Belt’s decline. The study consists of twelve chronologically and thematically arranged sections focusing on the residential color line, school segregation, employment discrimination, suburban development, urban renewal, and deindustrialization. Broadly, this project explains how local public policies intensified urban poverty and racial inequality and how social, political, and economic inequities came to be inscribed spatially upon Flint’s metropolitan landscape.

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2008
Doctoral Candidate
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Demolition Means Progress: Race, Class, and the Deconstruction of the American Dream in Flint, Michigan

“Demolition Means Progress” explores the spatial and structural barriers to racial and economic equality in metropolitan Flint, Michigan, from World War II to the present. With chapters on housing segregation, urban renewal, schools, suburban development, and deindustrialization, this project highlights the regional contestation between and among the labor and civil rights movements, General Motors, white homeowners, and civic leaders for control over Flint’s postwar development. This dissertation shows that the roots of urban poverty and racial resegregation in metropolitan Flint can be traced back to the postwar triumphs of pro-growth municipal policies that cultivated uneven consumer abundance, suburban sprawl, capital decentralization, and white racial privilege at the expense of social fairness.