Jacqui Sahagian

Jacqui at Olayami Dabls' art environment
Photo of me taken by my uncle Melvin at Olayami Dabls' art environment in Detroit, MI.

I am a writer, PhD candidate, and nonprofit professional who splits my time between Charlottesville, VA and metro-Detroit. I am inspired by the sounds, landscape, buildings, history, and people of Detroit, Appalachia, and other wild, weird, wonderful places.

My academic interests intersect urban history, popular music studies, cultural history, Black diaspora history, and digital and public humanities. I am currently working on a dissertation about the bohemian community of Detroit's Cass Corridor neighborhood.

I have an M.A. in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. My thesis on the Oxford, MS-based Fat Possum Records situated the record label's marketing practices in a lineage of tactics used to sell blues to white audiences throughout the twentieth century. While I lived in Oxford, I also wrote for Living Blues magazine and bussed tables at a soul food restaurant.

My family has been rooted in and around Detroit for generations. My great-grandparents on my father's side arrived there after fleeing the Armenian genocide. My grandfather on my mother's side worked at the iconic advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, writing ads for Chrysler.

Like many Detroiters before me, I am a proud, active union member.