How Wisconsin Ginseng Became a Globally Coveted Commodity

Most people know Wisconsin for its cheese—an aged cheddar in a bright red wax or an absurdly cartoonish cheese block in hat form if...

Building the Midwest’s “Little Tokyo” in Novi, Michigan

Michigan may not seem to be the most likely place for authentic Asian cuisine and experiences, but developers and city leaders in the city of Novi hope that Sakura Novi, a new mixed-use development featuring Japanese and other Asian businesses, will foster cross-cultural connections and support the Asian expatriate community there. The development will be the first of its kind in Michigan and one of only a few in the Midwest. Cover graphic courtesy of

How 3D Printing Is Re-envisioning the Future of Post-industrial Cities

In 2009, John Wilczynski was working as a quality planner at GM’s Pontiac Metal Center in Michigan when the company filed for bankruptcy. Over...

Social Distances: Introduction

Social distance…it means more than just six feet apart. What other kinds of distances did we encounter during 2020 and beyond? Join Midstory as...

The Next Great Migration: Where Young Black Graduates See Their Futures

Over the past two centuries, African Americans have steadily migrated from the South to other regions in the United States, often because of entrenched...

Bollywood, Hollywood and the Globalization of Socially-conscious Film: A Review of 3 Idiots

Amidst ever-increasing globalization, American audiences are slowly beginning to recognize international film industries, as evidenced by South Korea’s Parasite (2019) being the first non-English-language...

The Midwestern Mall: Not Quite Gone and Not Quite Forgotten

For the last several decades, malls across the country have been closing one after another, leaving behind not only abandoned buildings, but also renewed interest in what malls mean to people, why they are disappearing in the first place and what can be done to save them (or if they should be saved at all). Toledo, Ohio, for example, remains enamored with the memory of its long-gone shopping complexes and what they meant for a thriving, mid-sized, Midwestern city. Cover graphic by Jessie Walton for Midstory.

My Long-distance Love for Ohio

The word Ohio is one that elicits conflicting emotions and thoughts in me. The state is my home but also a place I’ve sought to leave. It’s a source of both pride and frustration. Leaving for college and then returning on a quasi-temporary basis has helped define the nature of my relationship with Ohio—one that’s been aided by distance. José Pablo Fernández García is a sophomore at Princeton University, currently residing in his hometown outside of Cincinnati during the pandemic. (Part I of a two-part series.)

Mobility in Crisis, Part III: Can Amtrak Midwest Ride Out the Pandemic?

The pandemic has halted progress for public transit systems nationwide, but Amtrak’s Director of Government Affairs for the Midwest discusses why the region was struggling with passenger rail long before COVID-19 and how we might move forward.

Isolated Amidst Illness: Pandemic Responses in Ohio Correctional Facilities

Jason Goudlock is used to being alone. Much of his 27 years in prison has been spent in solitary confinement, oftentimes voluntarily in order...

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