Welcome to the Reuther Library's podcast archive. They are arranged by publication date with the most recent on top and the oldest at the bottom.

Subscribe to Tales from the Reuther Library on:

Don't see your favorite podcast streaming app listed here? Manually subscribe in your podcast app of choice using our podcast streaming feed: https://reutherlib.blubrry.net/feed/podcast

[Podcast] When It Happened Here: Michigan and the Transnational Development of American Fascism, 1920-1945

Tales from the Reuther Library Podcast Artwork

Salaina Catalano Crumb explains how American fascism developed and thrived in Michigan from the 1920s through the 1940s due to the influence of right-wing individuals and organizations swayed by the politics of Nazi Germany, including industrialist Henry Ford, anti-communist clergy members Father Coughlin and Reverend Gerald L.K. Smith, militant secret societies like the Black Legion, and immigrant veterans’ and fascist groups including the German American Bund.  read more »

[Podcast] Reading the Room: How César Chávez’s Early Life Prepared Him to Lead

(229) Cesar Chavez, Childhood, 1942

Dr. Clay Walker explains how César Chávez’s lifeworld discourse – the language, culture, and experiences that shaped who he was and how he encountered and navigated the world – uniquely prepared him to lead the United Farm Workers and effectively communicate his message to a diverse audience.  read more »

Mechanical Engineer To Booth Babe and Back Again: The Tragicomic Career of Wayne State Engineering Alum Lucille Pieti

Lucille Pieti, All Alone With 300 Men, 1954

Society of Women Engineers archivist Troy Eller English shares the tragicomic story of Lucille Pieti, 1950 mechanical engineering alum and Miss Wayne University.  read more »

[Podcast] (Re)Introducing the Michigan Black History Bibliography

Michigan Black History Bibliography Sample Card

Reuther Library field archivist Dr. Louis Jones and former archives students and staff members Mattie Dugan and Allie Penn discuss the Reuther’s Michigan Black History Bibliography (MBHB) and the multi-year, student-led project to digitize a decades-old index card file.  read more »

This Union Cause: The Queer History of the United Automobile Workers

Tales from the Reuther Library Podcast Artwork

Wayne State history PhD candidate James McQuaid discusses his research on the gradual cognizance and acceptance of queer autoworkers in the twentieth century, leading toward the UAW’s rapid embrace of LGBTQ-friendly policies and initiatives in the 1990s.  read more »

[Podcast] Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work: Black-Owned Businesses and the Housewives League of Detroit

Tales from the Reuther Library Podcast Artwork

Allie Penn explains how her work on a grant-funded digitization project introduced her to the Housewives League of Detroit and led to a digital humanities project mapping Detroit Black-owned businesses from the 1930s through 1950s.  read more »

Creating that “A-Ha!” Moment: Using Archives and Primary Sources to Inspire Active Learning in the Classroom

Reuther Library staff member Meghan Courtney discusses the use of primary resources in research to a visiting classOutreach archivist Meghan Courtney discusses the Reuther Library’s efforts to extend primary source instruction beyond history classes to inspire active learning in the classroom and empower students to become part of scholarly conversations.  read more »

Poorly Described Folders and Human Hair: Processing Report with ALUA Archivist Shae Rafferty

Tales from the Reuther Library Podcast Artwork

Shae Rafferty, the Reuther Library’s Labor and Urban Affairs Archivist, explains what happens behind the scenes to get donated collections ready for researchers. She discusses how collections are prioritized for processing, or organizing and describing them to make it easier for researchers to find the information they’re looking for.  read more »

[Podcast] Uncovering Detroit Sound: Sippie Wallace and Son House in the Folklore Archives

Archivist Bart Bealmear explains how he rediscovered recordings of famed African American blues musicians Sippie Wallace and Son House buried in the Reuther Library's Folklore Archives.  read more »

[Podcast] Punishing Promise: School Discipline in the Era of Desegregation

Tales from the Reuther Library Podcast Artwork

Matt Kautz explains how his observations while teaching in Detroit and Chicago led him to study the rise of suspensions and other disciplinary tactics in urban districts during school desegregation, fueling the school-to-prison pipeline.  read more »

[Podcast] Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir of Wobbly Organizer Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins

(5213) Matilda (Rabinowitz) Robbins, Arrest, 1910s

In a two-episode series, artist Robbin Légère Henderson discusses her exhibition of original scratchboard drawings featured in the illustrated and annotated autobiography of Henderson's grandmother, Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins, a Socialist, IWW organizer, feminist, writer, mother, and social worker.  read more »

[Podcast] "You Do It and You Teach It": 90 Years of Dance at Wayne State

Ensemble, Wayne University Dance Workshop, circa 1933-1936

Eva Powers, recently retired associate professor and former chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, shares the fascinating history and bright future of the modern dance program at Wayne State University. One of the longest-running dance programs in the country, it traces its origins to the Dance Workshop, founded in 1928 by Professor Ruth Lovell Murray.  read more »

Labor Feminism in the Federated Press, 1930s through 1950s

Dr. Victoria Grieve shares the lives of five pioneering female journalists of the Federated Press, a labor news service operating in the early and mid-20th century. In addition to their work for the Federated Press, Julia Ruuttila, Jessie Lloyd O’Connor, Virginia Gardner, and Miriam Kolkin also participated in leftist social and political movements, forming an important network that linked labor journalism with labor feminism and other political issues.  read more »

[Podcast] Rise Up Detroit: Stories from the African American Struggle for Power

(DN_1127_1) NAACP, Pickets, Housing Discrimination, Detroit, 1963

Dr. Peter Blackmer discusses the launch of Rise Up Detroit (www.riseupdetroit.org), a website documenting the stories of activists in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements in Detroit. The website uses extensive oral history interviews and extensive archival resources from the Walter P. Reuther Library and other archives in the region to teach audiences of all ages about social justice issues through the history of the African American struggle for power.  read more »

[Podcast] Hooked On The Line: Addiction and the North American Workplace, 1965-1995 (Part 2)

This is the second of a two-part interview with Dr. Jeremy Milloy about his forthcoming book, "Hooked On The Line: Addiction and the North American Workplace, 1965-95," which explores the evolution of alcohol and drug addiction interventions in the workplace in the latter half of the 20th century.  read more »

[Podcast] Hooked On The Line: Addiction and the North American Workplace, 1965-1995 (Part 1)

This is the first of a two-part interview with Dr. Jeremy Milloy about his forthcoming book, "Hooked On The Line: Addiction and the North American Workplace, 1965-95," which explores the evolution of alcohol and drug addiction interventions in the workplace in the latter half of the 20th century.  read more »

[Podcast] The Southern Airways Strike of 1960: ALPA’s Epic Battle Over Fair Pilot Wages

(34247) ALPA, Southern Airways Strike, 1960s

Air Line Pilots Association archivist Bart Bealmear shares the history of ALPA's shrewd 1960 strike against regional carrier Southern Airways over pilot wages.  read more »

(Podcast) “Our Mothers Were the Shining Stars:” Perspectives on the Founders of the Society of Women Engineers, From a Daughter Who Grew Up Among Them

Alexis Jetter discusses her long-running project, a memoir unraveling the life and death of her mother Evelyn Jetter, a physicist, engineer, and in 1950 a founder of the Society of Women Engineers. After writing a master's thesis and article in the 1980s that explored whether her mother's death at age 52 was caused by her work with radiation at the Atomic Energy Commission and other companies — from the 1940s through 1970s — Alexis felt a growing desire to better understand Evelyn's career in relation to her private life.  read more »

Podcast: From the Vault: Metalsmith and Professor Phillip Fike and the Wayne State Academic Mace

Wayne State University Mace

In anticipation of the upcoming Wayne State University graduation ceremonies, University Art Curator Grace Serra and University Archivist Alison Stankrauff share the history of the university's academic mace, a ceremonial and symbolic object carried during commencement exercises and other important events.  read more »

Podcast: "Taxing Limits: The Political Economy of American School Finance"

(12169) Arthur Elder

Kelly Goodman speaks about the political history of funding education through local and state taxes. Having worked as a data analyst for the Detroit public schools, Goodman pursued graduate school to explore the structural issues surrounding questions she often found herself asking: why are some schools perceived to be bad? Why do some schools receive less funding than others? How does the economy work, and for whom?  read more »

(Podcast) Reevaluating Comparable Worth: AFSCME's Pay Equity Campaigns of Yesteryear and Today

(7501) Pay equity strike, San Jose, CA

In celebration of Equal Pay Day on April 2, 2019, podcast host and American Federation of Teachers archivist Dan Golodner recounts a time 100 years ago when male teachers tried, and failed, to prevent female teachers from seeking pay equity with their male peers. AFSCME archivist Stefanie Caloia discusses AFSCME's groundbreaking equal pay campaigns for public employees in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in Local 101 in San Jose, California and Council 28 in Washington state.  read more »

(Podcast) Documenting the Now: SEIU Archivist Sarah Lebovitz on Using Archives to Empower the Future

Sarah Lebovitz, SEIU Archivist, 2018

SEIU archivist Sarah Lebovitz explains how her background in anthropology informs her work as an archivist, preserving and revealing the experiences of underrepresented groups.  read more »

(Podcast) Dirty Socks, Goose Fat, and Hot Toddies: Cold Remedies from the Folklore Archive

Reuther Library archivists Elizabeth Clemens and Dan Golodner raise a glass for the regional and ethnic cold remedies collected in the Reuther's extensive Folklore Archive, including whiskey, honey, lemon, hot toddies, goose fat poultices, the color red, horehound, catnip tea, dirty socks, and the more dangerous turpentine and kerosene -- don't try those at home!  read more »

Podcast: “Long Memory is the Most Radical Idea in America” Field Report from Reuther Collections Gatherer Louis Jones

(28587) Louis Jones

Dr. Louis Jones discusses his work in building relationships to bring records into the Reuther Library documenting the American labor movement, civil rights, and the history of metropolitan Detroit. He explains how he brought three recent acquisitions into the Reuther Library: the papers of labor activist and folk singer Utah Phillips; the business records of civil rights organization NAACP Detroit; and the records of LGBT Detroit, an organization working to support and advocate for Detroit’s LGBT community.  read more »

Podcast: "Democracy is Sweeping Over the World:" Brookwood Labor College at the Nexus of Transnational Radicalism in the Jazz Age

(6199) Brookwood Labor College; Class Meetings

While the 1920s are often described as "lean years" of progressive action, Andreas Meyris explains how the Brookwood Labor College in Katonah, New York served as a conduit for transnational radicalism in the 1920s while also training labor journalists and up-and-coming labor leaders like Walter Reuther and Rose Pesotta, setting the stage for the explosion of industrial unionism during the 1930s.  read more »

Podcast: The First Noel (Night): How the Public Found Its Detroit Adventure in Noel Night, The City's Festive Cultural Open House

Detroit Adventure, Noel Night advertisement, 1973

Outreach archivist Meghan Courtney traces the evolution of Detroit Adventure, a coalition of cultural organizations founded in 1958 to promote cultural conversations and experiences in metropolitan Detroit. In 1973 the organization debuted Noel Night, a free holiday open house in Detroit's cultural center.  read more »

Podcast: Speak to the Earth and it Shall Teach Thee: Catholic Nuns, the United Farm Workers Movement, and the Rise of an Environmental Ethic, 1962-1978

(38505) Fast for Non-Violence, Catholic Church, California, 1968

John Buchkoski explores the role that religious women had in grassroots social activism in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly organizations of Catholic women religious. He explains how these groups supported United Farm Worker strikes by publicizing the environmental and health effects of pesticide use and popularizing produce boycotts across Catholic communities. Buchkoski is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oklahoma.  read more »

Podcast: Halloween Spooktacular - Supernatural Stories from Detroit Folklore

(37226) Folklore Archive; Index Cards

Archivist Elizabeth Clemens shares spooky stories from the Reuther Library's Folklore Archives about Le Loup Garou, or the Werewolf of Grosse Pointe; the Ghost of Tanglewood Bridge on Detroit's Belle Isle; hauntings at home; and a helpful witch on Detroit's McClellan Street who fetched groceries and hung her skin on the wall. Archivist Bart Bealmear reminds us of Gundella the Green Witch, a local personality with an advice column in Detroit-area newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s.  read more »

Podcast: International Architect Minoru Yamasaki’s Impact on the Wayne State Campus

College of Education and McGregor Memorial Conference Center Reflecting Pool, 1961

Reuther Library archivist Shae Rafferty discusses the career of Minoru Yamasaki, renown architect of the original World Trade Center, the Dhahran International Airport in Saudi Arabia, as well as many buildings in the metropolitan Detroit area. University archivist Alison Stankrauff shares the history and design of four Yamasaki buildings on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit.  read more »

Podcast: 1933 Chicago Teachers Walkout: That Time Teachers Rioted With Textbooks and Rulers

Chicago Teachers' Union (CTU), demonstration, Chicago, Illinois

American Federation of Teachers archivist Dan Golodner tells ALPA archivist and guest host Bart Bealmear about the 1933 Chicago Teachers Walkout, when Chicago teachers joined together to demand that they be paid in actual money and on time, rather than in scrip that wasn’t honored by local businesses and banks during the Great Depression.  read more »

Podcast: Assembly Line Housing: Walter P. Reuther, George Romney, and Operation Breakthrough – Part 2

(28771) Detroit Housing Has not Kept Up with Population

In the second of a two-part series, Dr. Kristin M. Szylvian explains how racial segregation and the fear of declining property values ultimately scuttled Operation Breakthrough, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Program early in the Nixon administration to use union-made manufactured housing to create racially- and economically-integrated housing communities throughout the country.  read more »

Podcast: Assembly Line Housing: Walter P. Reuther, George Romney, and Operation Breakthrough – Part 1

In the first of a two-part series, Dr. Kristin Szylvian explains the role of the American labor movement, and UAW president Walter Reuther in particular, in lobbying for and shaping fair housing programs and legislation in Detroit and nationally after the Second World War. That influence paved the way for an unlikely alliance in the 1960s between Reuther and George Romney, the former Republican governor of Michigan, when they joined together in the late 1960s to launch Operation Breakthrough, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program to use union-made manufactured housing to alleviate the housing crisis in minority communities while also creating job opportunities and encouraging racial and income integration in the larger community.  read more »

Podcast: I Am A Man: Photographer Richard Copley Recalls His First Assignment, 50 Years After the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike

(8885) I AM a Man

AFSCME archivist Stefanie Caloia shares photographer Richard Copley's story of his very first and what he considers his most important assignment covering the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike and, ultimately, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination and memorial march.  read more »

Podcast: Jessica Levy on "Black Power, Inc.: Global American Business and the Post-Apartheid City"

Jessica Levy explains how American corporations and black entrepreneurs worked together to forge a new politics linking American business with black liberation at home and abroad, focusing particularly on Leon Howard Sullivan, a civil rights leader and board member of General Motors  read more »

Podcast: American Labor's Anti-Apartheid Movement and Nelson Mandela's 1990 U.S. Tour

Meghan Courtney, Reuther Library archivist, discusses Nelson Mandela's 1990 visit to the U.S. as well as his long-term relationship with the American Labor Movement during his time in prison and after his release.

Mandela's 12 day, 8 city fundraising tour in June 1990 took place just months after his release from 27 years in a South African prison and included visits to the AFL-CIO, AFSCME's convention, UAW Local 600 and Tiger Stadium.

Courtney explores Mandela's philosophical alignment with the labor movement,  read more »

Podcast: Julia Gunn on Civil Rights Anti-Unionism: Charlotte and the Remaking of Anti-Labor Politics in the Modern South

Dr. Julia Gunn explains how progressive civil rights politics enabled Charlotte, North Carolina, to become the nation’s second-largest largest financial capital while obscuring its intransigence towards working-class protest, including public sector sanitation workers, bus drivers, firefighters, and domestic workers.  read more »

Dawn Mabalon on UFW labor organizer Larry Itliong – Part 2

In part 2 of our interview with Dawn Mabalon, she explains how her personal and familial interests influenced her research on the life and work of United Farm Workers labor organizer Larry Itliong, as well as her forthcoming children’s book, Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong.  read more »

Dawn Mabalon on UFW labor organizer Larry Itliong – Part 1

In this inaugural episode of Tales from the Reuther Library, Dawn Mabalon, an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University, shares her research on the life and work of Larry Itliong, a Filipino leader of California’s farm labor movement.  read more »

Syndicate content