All events are free and take place at UMMA unless otherwise noted.

Mar 15

Willow Run: Gender, Race, and Factory Work During and After World War II

Bicentennial/1943 Symposium

Free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

In conjunction with UMMA's exhibition, Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run: Mobilizing Memory, photographer Ernestine Ruben and UMMA Assistant Curator of Photography Jennifer Friess, will discuss Ruben's return to Willow Run, which was designed by her grandfather, Albert Kahn, and the photographs she took of the complex. The program includes a screening of Willow Run, a short, 11-minute film by Ruben in collaboration with video artist Seth Bernstein, that builds upon the photographs and interprets them. The music for the film was written by composer Stephen Hartke. Berstein and Hartke will join all of the participants in a final roundtable discussion about the themes of history, memory, art, and image.

Ruben's talk is preceded by a keynote and response with eminent sociologist from CUNY Graduate Center, Ruth Milkman, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies Katie Rosenblatt. Both scholars will address the roles of gender, class, and economics as they relate to the Willow Run industrial complex during the 1940s.

This Willow Run program is part of a larger U-M History Department's Symposium, "1943: Consequences of Mobilization" which uncovers the impact of World War II on the home front. This symposium investigates critical social changes produced by the war and draws upon a lively mix of scholars, artists, and musicians, who, in turn, explore the unprecedented social change that characterized wartime America.

Symposium Schedule
2 - 4 p.m. Ann Arbor: The GI Bill and Its Impact on Higher Education, featuring lectures by Glenn Altschuler and Philo Hutcheson.
4 - 4:15 p.m. Visit UMMA exhibition Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run: Mobilizing Memory
4:15 - 6:30 p.m. Willow Run: Gender, Race, and Factory Work During and After World War II, featuring Ernestine Ruben, her collaborator composer Stephen Hartke, UMMA Assistant Curator of Photography Jennifer Friess, Ruth Milkman, and Katie Rosenblatt.
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Break. UMMA exhibition Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run: Mobilizing Memory open for browsing.
7:30 - 9 p.m. Detroit: Remembering the Music with Vincent York's Jazzistry

For more information about the symposium and the U-M Bicentennial Theme Semester, please visit or call 734-615-7400.

Lead support for Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run: Mobilizing Memory is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.

This LSA Bicentennial Theme Semester event is presented with support from the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the University of Michigan Bicentennial Office. Additional support provided by the Department of History, the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.