Detroit Future City? Discussion and Presentation on the Detroit Future City Plan


Join HFS in a two-part examination of the widely discussed Detroit Future City plan.
Part 1, on Wednesday, February 5th; 6:30-8:30 pm @ Cafe 1923, a discussion of the Detroit Future City plan. You can read it online or get a copy at the new office location:

Detroit Future City — Implementation Office 

2990 W. Grand Blvd. Suite 2

O: 313-499-3335

Part 2, on Wednesday, February 12th; 6:30-8:30 pm @ Cafe 1923, a presentation by a representative from Detroit Future City. We can generate some specific lines of inquiry regarding DFC at the previous section, and try to clarify any issues that come up in the last section.
To download the document (43mb), click this link.
Cafe 1923 is located at 2287 Holbrook St, Hamtramck, MI 48212.

For more information on Detroit Future City, click here.

The Writings of Bertolt Brecht


FEBRUARY 10th, 17th, 24th + MARCH 3rd, 10th, 2014. This class is an introduction to the writings of Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956). Over the duration of five weeks, we will look at Brecht’s theoretical writings, two of his plays, and handfuls of poems that point to dramaturgical themes he so often emphasized, such as the Verfremdungseffekt (estrangement effect), his theory of Gestus, and the practice of ‘non-Aristotilian drama’. Class will take place on Monday’s in February (10th, 17th, & 24th) and in March (3rd & 10th) from 6:30p to 8:30p at Café 1923, 2287 Holbrook St, Hamtramck, MI 48212.

Week 1Epic Theater using Verfremdungseffekt, Here’s a strange, sporadic yet useful collection of “miscellaneous WWW sources” on Epic Theater, Verfremdungseffekt, Brecht, and Artaud. This is obviously not Brecht, but a useful primer.

We’ll also be looking at three essays by Brecht from around 1936: Alienation Effects in Chinese Acting + The Street Scene + Short Description of a New Technique of Acting which Produces an Alienation Effect

Week 2:  The Baden-Baden Lesson on ConsentThis Lehrstück, written in 1929, contains a memorable scene in which a clown is dismembered by his clown friends, as seen in the images here, courtesy of

Week 3: Mother Courage and Her Children Scenes 1 through 6. Written 10 years later, in 1939. Mother Courage is one of Brecht’s most celebrated plays, and a strong display of Verfremdungseffect throughout.

Week 4: Mother Courage and Her Children Scenes 7 though 12.

Week 5: Selections from Die Hauspostille (Manual of Piety) (1927), link to view forthcoming. We will take a look a handfuls of Brecht’s poetry from Die Hauspostille and potentially find unexpected things.



Of Other Spaces, Heterotopia


DECEMBER 9th, 16th, 30th, 2013 + JANUARY 6th, 13th, 2014

This five week class is a cross-pollinated investigation of other spaces. Pulling from texts and visionary architectural drawings, we will look at centuries of variant trajectories within which humans have articulated other spaces, be it utopia, heterotopia, or other-wise.

We will begin with Michel Foucault’s “Des Espace Autres,” the basis of a lecture from March 1967, later published by the French journal Architecture in 1984. Throughout the course we will meander through the writings of David Harvey, Jean Baudrillard, and Hakim Bey, and discuss spaces understood as “other.” This course is organized by Jonathan Rajewski and michael phillip brown.

Week 1: Of Other Spaces, Heterotopia (Michel Foucault)

Week 2: The Right to the City (David Harvey)

Week 3: Part 3, T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (Hakim Bey, aka Peter Lamborn Wilson)

Week 4: Dialectical Utopia (pgs. 31-33), The Ephemeral (pgs. 33-36), Technics of Social Practice (pgs. 51-61), and Utopia Deferred (pgs. 61-64) (Jean Baudrillard) *PDF no longer available.

Week 5: Digital Zapatistas (Jill Lane) and Out to sea, out of mind (Al-Jazeera, January 4, 2014)

Class will take place on Monday’s in December (9th, 16th, & 30th only) and in January (6th & 13th only) from 6:30p to 8:30p at Public Pool on 3309 Caniff Street, Hamtramck, MI 48212.

For more information e-mail


Top image: Project for an Isaac Newton memorial by Étienne-Louis Boullée. This image is in the public domain.

Bottom image: The Golden Age by Lucas Cranach the Elder. This image is in the public domain.


A Very Brief Introduction to the Literature of Free Schools / “Radical” Education


NOVEMBER 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th

This four week class is intended to provide a brief introduction to the literature of free schools/”radical” education. It will start from Ron Miller’s historical overview of key thinkers and practitioners before proceeding to selected excerpts from diverse writers such as Paulo Freire, Chris Mercogliano, Jonathan Kozol and Henry Giroux. It is not intended as a comprehensive survey of the subject rather as a starting point for further study and discussion. A course pack of material will be made available online via the comments section below shortly. This class is organized by Steve Panton.

Class will take place every Monday in November (4th, 11th, 18th & 25th) from 6:30p to 8:30p at Cafe 1923: 2287 Holbrook Street, Hamtramck, MI 48212. For more information e-mail

Image: The NYC Modern School, circa 1911 – 1912. This image was the cover of the first issue of “The Modern School” magazine. This image is in the public domain. 


Painting & Making with Kids at Klinger Studios


Over the past couple months artists at Klinger Street Studios have opened up their workspaces in conjunction with Hamtramck Free School to offer hands-on building lessons and “open-paint” sessions. If you’d like to help HFS organize a youth-related program, e-mail us at  Above: A sew and dye workshop in Danielle Karmo’s studio during the Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Fest, 2013. Below: Hamtramck residents posing with their freshly painted basketball backboard. At bottom: Xsavior preparing a painting outside.



photo 3

Reading of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle


This class is a reading group centered on discussion of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.  We will read the text together as a group during each meeting and discuss the implications of Debord’s analysis for our contemporary situation.