Wyatt Lecture Series Presents:
Andrea Burns, Appalachian State University
Friday, February 21, 2014, 4-6 p.m.
Andrea A. Burns received her B.A. in History from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She is currently an assistant professor of public history at Appalachian Stat University in Boone, North Carolina. She recently transformed her dissertation into a book, entitled "From Storefront to Monument: Tracing the Public History of the Black Museum Movement" (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013). Andrea lived in Flint for over twenty years with her family, and graduated form Powers Catholic High School.
University of Michigan-Flint program looks at 'The making and unmaking of AutoWorld'
February 17, 2014 Mlive By: Sarah Schuch
Balloons soar skyward over the AutoWorld dome as the park opens July 4, 1984. In the background, to the right of the Genesee Towers and Mott Foundation buildings, demolition of old commercial buildings makes room for Water Street Pavilion and new downtown parking. Flint Journal File Photo
FLINT, MI -- When AutoWorld opened in Flint in 1984 it brought excitement and hope to the city.
The $80-million theme park, however, didn't last long and closed its doors in January 1985, later reopening for holidays and other special occasions before finally being demolished in 1997.
As part of the University of Michigan-Flint 2013-14 Wyatt Lecture Series, Andrea Burns, former Flint resident and current Appalachian State University assistant professor of history will present “A Unique Place in All the World: The Making and Unmaking of AutoWorld.”
The presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Happenings Room of University of Michigan-Flint’s Harding Mott University Center.
Burns will look at how AutoWorld’s demolition in 1997 dealt a crushing blow to those with a deep investment -- both financial and emotional -- in the institution’s promise to revitalize Flint’s postindustrial economy, and transform the city’s identity into a cultural destination that attracted tourists and residents alike.
According to Burn’s research, understanding the history, hopes, and desires that surrounded AutoWorld, from its initial conception by C.S. Harding Mott in 1969 to its destruction in 1997, reveals the complicated intersections of heritage tourism, the postindustrial economy, and the city’s historical identity, according to a press release.
The AutoWorld complex was located immediately north of downtown on the Flint River in part of the old IMA Auditorium. The site is now part of the University of Michigan-Flint.
Since the demolition of AutoWorld, the vacant 24 acres have been transferred to UM-Flint for campus expansion and is now the site of a building named after Charles Stewart Mott Foundation President William S. White.
UM-FLINT’S WYATT EXPLORATION PROGRAM LOOKS AT “THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF AUTOWORLD”
February 14, 2014 By: UM-Flint News
In 1984, the doors of AutoWorld opened to great fanfare and celebration in downtown Flint. Less than a decade later, this uncertain combination of museum and theme park closed its doors for good.
Artist rendering of AutoWorld along Flint River
As part of the 2013-2014 Wyatt Lecture Series, former Flint resident and current Appalachian State University assistant professor of history Andrea Burns, Ph.D. will present "A Unique Place in All the World: The Making and Unmaking of AutoWorld."
The presentation is scheduled for Friday, February 21, at 4:00 p.m. in the Happenings Room of UM-Flint’s Harding Mott University Center.
Burns will look at how AutoWorld’s demolition in 1997 dealt a crushing blow to those with a deep investment (both financial and emotional) in the institution’s promise to revitalize Flint’s postindustrial economy, and transform the city’s identity into a cultural destination that attracted tourists and residents alike. According to Burn’s research, understanding the history, hopes, and desires that surrounded AutoWorld, from its initial conception by C.S. Harding Mott in 1969 to its destruction in 1997, reveals the complicated intersections of heritage tourism, the postindustrial economy, and the city’s historical identity.
Six Flags AutoWorld logo
Burns received her B.A. in History from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota. She lived in Flint for over twenty years with her family, and graduated from Powers Catholic High School.
If you are not familiar with AutoWorld, here is video from WJRT of its opening day on July, 4 1984.
UM-Flint Assistant Professor Named State Scholar for Smithsonialn's "The Way We Worked" Exhibit
February 3, 2014 By: UM-Flint News
UM-Flint’s Wyatt Professor of U.S. History Thomas Henthorn, Ph.D. has been selected as the Michigan Humanities Council state scholar for The Way We Worked, a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit focusing on American work culture.
As the state scholar for 2014, Henthorn will serve as a programming consultant and present a lecture at the opening of the exhibit for six museums across Michigan.
The Way We Worked traveling exhibit is made possible through the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program, which serves museums, libraries and historical societies in rural areas. The Way We Worked brings to light the who, what, where, why, and how of America at work. It explores the places Americans work, from farms to factories and mines to restaurants, as well as in homes. The exhibition illustrates how work opportunities led millions to America’s shores, creating a workforce as diverse as the nation itself.
Photo depicting scenes like children working in factories are part of The Way We Worked exhibit
As state scholar, Henthorn assists with program workshops to support training for site coordinators, and will work with museum staff to explore ways venues can supplement the exhibit in ways that highlight local heritage and inspire community pride. Each venue will host the exhibit for six weeks.
“This is a great opportunity for the Department of History at the University of Michigan-Flint to expand their civic engagement efforts statewide,” said Henthorn. In the Flint area, the Department of History partners with a number of local organizations for internships, public programs such as the Lumber City Base Ball Club, and historic preservation projects. “In the past year we have begun to expand our reach. Dr. John Ellis coordinated a Celtic Halloween Festival in Hartland, Michigan, and we will be expanding our internship program to sites outside of Genesee County.”
The Way We Worked traveling exhibit will debut on October 4 at Artworks in Big Rapids, Michigan, and then travel to five additional sites until July 2015.
UM-Flint Department of History Expands Internship Program
February 11, 2014 By: UM-Flint News
The University of Michigan-Flint’s Department of History is expanding its internship program to offer students a greater variety of experiences in the field of history. History majors, History Teacher Certificate Program (TCP) majors, and Pre History TCP students now have six different experiences from which to choose when deciding on an internship. In addition, all interns are awarded a scholarship to pay for the three credits, which students can apply toward one of their 300-level electives.
Professor Ami-Pflugrad-Jackish, department chair, commented that “our expanded internship program is another example of the ways in which our faculty are providing students with the tools and experience they’ll need to succeed after college.”
Employers tend to agree that internships are a valuable tool for college graduates. In a 2012 survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Aerican Public Media, employers viewed an internship as the most important credential for recent grads.
“Our internships are designed to be embedded within the major just like the rest of our students’ coursework,” says internship faculty supervisor, Assistant Professor Thomas Henthorn.
Students can apply for an internship at any time during their major, and each internship is equivalent to an upper division history elective. As students apply the skills learned through their coursework, they learn how history practitioners work with multiple tasks for diverse publics in a real-world setting. Henthorn noted that more employers are asking for students with technical skills and the ability to think through problems in team environments. To meet those demands, history interns learn specific tasks to familiarize themselves with their selected site and then spend the remainder of the internship completing a project they can include in a resume or portfolio.
The UM-Flint Department of History offers internships in Museum Collections, Museum Education and Programming, Historic House Museums, Archival Administration, Oral History, and Heritage Preservation and Living History. Internships run during the spring and summer semesters, and the deadline for applying is March 14. Students interested in applying for an internship should contact Assistant Professor Thomas Henthorn and visit the UM-Flint Department of History’s internship web page.
 The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media, The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions (Washington, D.C.: Chronicle of Higher Education, 2012), <PDF: http://chronicle.com/items/biz/pdf/Employers%20Survey.pdf>