News & Events

Penny Stamps Speaker Series

Joyce Jenje Makwenda with Dr. Melvin Peters

Motown in Zimbabwe

June 22, 2017

Joyce Jenje Makwenda with Dr. Melvin Peters

Special Event: Thursday, June 22, 6 pm at Cultivate
307 N. River St., Ypsilanti

Joyce Jenje Makwenda is an archivist, historian, ethnomusicologist, and writer who lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe where she founded and runs the Joyce Jenje Makwenda Collection Archive. It is one of the largest privately-owned archives in Zimbabwe, housing documented interviews, newspapers, vinyl records, photography, musical instruments, and other objects. For the past thirty years her work has been focused on early urban culture, music, politics, education, religion, media, fashion, sexuality, cultural issues, and women’s histories in Zimbabwe. Some of her notable publications include Zimbabwe Township Music (2005), Divorce Taken (2009), and Women Musicians of Zimbabwe (2013).

Makwenda is the recipient of the 2017 ZCCD (Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit) Research Resident in partnership with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series (University of Michigan) and Njelele Art Station in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her month-long residency will research cultural connections between Detroit and cities in Zimbabwe, focusing on the role of Motown music in early urban culture. This ZCCD Research Residence was made possible through funding from the Knights Foundation, Resonant Detroit Grant, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan through the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series.

Makwenda will be conversing with Dr. Melvin Peters, who taught in the Department of African American Studies at Eastern Michigan. Dr. Peters is an archivist, historian, and writer specializing in the cultural history and cultural continuity of the expanse of the African Diaspora as expressed in literature, music, and film — and the relationship of cultural expression to social movements.

Presented with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and in partnership with the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit (ZCCD).

Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place on Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the historic Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and are free of charge and open to the public.