Stumbling Blocks

Pop-up Art Installations

Exploring our aspirations for a diverse campus community — a topic that was covered by Justices Sotomayor and Baer during a January 30, 2017, colloquium – means also understanding challenges from U-M’s past. The Future University Community featured some of these moments the week of April 3-8, 2017, with “Stumbling Blocks,” a series of pop-up art installations on the Central, Medical and North campuses. The exhibit was timed to coincide with the Bicentennial Spring Festival.

These seven installations drew attention to various chapters from U-M’s history. The displays were prominent and provocative asking us to redefine our community, recalibrate our goals and set out new aspirations that are informed by the past. Each installation was accompanied by quotes from relevant community members. Learn more about Stumbling Blocks.

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  1. Michigan Union

    Equity for Women and Gender on Campus

    Ideas about gender difference have shaped the construction of the University of Michigan campus. This ticker tape sign on the Michigan Union displays excerpts from… more

  2. Ingalls Mall

    Native Americans: Michigan’s Foundation

    It might be possible to overlook the role that Native Americans have played in the history of the University of Michigan. While most historical markers… more

  3. Kresge Park

    New Approaches to the Ethics of Biomedical Research

    Working across the globe, the ethics of University of Michigan researchers have been tested. These banners set side-by-side symbols of Brazil and of the University… more

  4. Fleming Administration Building

    Quantifying the Role of Staff

    What’s in a name? What’s in a number? This renaming of the Fleming Building after U-M’s staff — “The 33,616 Staff Building” — calls attention… more

  5. Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project

    Remaking Nuclear Research

    In the wake of World War II, nuclear research faced an uncertain future. The University of Michigan Energy Institute building is wrapped in two symbols… more

  6. The Diag

    Remembering Students Missing After Proposal 2

    The student body can be measured by those who are absent, as well as those who attend the University of Michigan. These 950 empty maize… more

  7. Angell Hall

    Student Protest

    It has taken more than deliberations among its leadership to steer the University of Michigan. Images of student protests projected on Angell Hall call attention… more