Kathryn Nowinski

Adjunct Faculty
MA, Anthropology, Wayne State University, 2017


View some of Kathryn Nowinski‘s work

Kathryn Nowinski is an ethnographic writer who lives in Detroit. Her work investigates urban social memory and affect, performances of identity, politics of aesthetics, and social processes that produce privilege and inequality. Her writing explores the boundaries of genre, combining aspects of lyrical research, creative nonfiction, and literary ethnography. She is a founding community member of Room Project, a space for women and non-binary writers and artists to work individually and collaboratively. She holds an MA in anthropology.

Professional Experience

Nowinski initially came to Detroit to Wayne State as a member of a PhD cohort, Nowinski left with an MA after completing three years of coursework, realizing that the constraints of a traditional academic career gave her limited options to engage real people whose work (and everyday lives) she cares about.  After leaving her PhD program in 2016, Nowinski worked full time at Avalon International Breads on Cass and Willis until 2020. She currently works as a community art instructor for Arts and Scraps. Since 2009, Nowinski has worked in museums and fine art galleries in preparatorial and curatorial capacities. In 2015, she worked as the Head Preparator for National Geographic’s Taking Back Detroit exhibit. From 2014 to 2015, she was the Curator of Exhibitions for the Grosscup Museum of Anthropology. She has also worked as a member of the Ford Mobility Challenge ethnographic research team investigating transit deficits, contracted as a Community Facilitator for a London-based Open Innovation firm, and worked as a psychological report writer of job candidate evaluations.

Significant Publications, Presentations and Exhibitions


(Forthcoming, 2022) “Epoxy Stories with Weak Cohesion.”  Room Object, edited by Christin Lee and MARS Marshall.  Room Project, LLC, 2022, pp. 161-171.

“Stop Drinking the Tequila.” Menteur, Rewired, 2020/2021, pp. 27-29.

Readings/Conference Presentations:

Nov. 2019, “Rose Peony Penury” & “Orion Perseus Pegasus” Word Paintings — Writers’ Bloc Annual Poetry Reading inside Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Aug. 2019, Reading #14 Monster House Press with Bella Bravo, Michelle Gottschlich, Kathryn Nowinski, WLS, and Rosechard Wehrenberg. Room Project, Detroit, Michigan

Feb. 2019, Reading + Conversation with Kristen Roupenian, author of You Know You Want This, “Cat Person” and Other Stories, conversation facilitator

Jan. 2016-May 2017, “Urban Mnemonics: The Politics and Poetics of Memory, Narrative, and Performativity in Detroit” – Master’s Essay, critique of sites of social memory: public art spaces, promotional rhetoric, and museum exhibitions

Apr. 2016, “Evaluating University Built Environments through Rapid Assessment Ethnography” – Michigan Association for Evaluation Conference, Lansing, MI