Tales from the Reuther Library

Tales from the Reuther Library


Latest Episodes

Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver
April 15, 2021

Historian Jane Little Botkin explains how Jane Street, a single mother, firebrand, and little-known IWW organizer, orchestrated a 1916 housemaids’ rebellion in Denver. To fight for better pay and working conditions in the elite Capitol Hill neighborhoo...

It’s Been a Year: Reuther Library Director Aliqae Geraci Recalls Her First Year on the Job During a Global Pandemic
March 18, 2021

Aliqae Geraci explains that she had big plans when she became director of the Reuther Library a year ago, and those plans were immediately scuttled when her first day on the job coincided with the first day Wayne State University’s on-campus operations...

Bootlegged Aliens: How Undocumented Immigrants from Canada in the 1920s Shaped American Immigration Policy
January 21, 2021

Dr. Ashley Johnson Bavery explains how undocumented European immigrants coming over the Canadian border to work in the Detroit auto industry in the 1920s and 1930s spurred nativist discourse, influenced government policies toward illegal immigration,

The Long Deep Grudge: How the Haymarket “Riot” of 1886 Evolved into a Bitter Battle Between the Farm Equipment Workers Union and International Harvester in the Mid-Twentieth Century
December 18, 2020

Labor historian Dr. Toni Gilpin explores how the McCormick family’s greed and union-busting in the late 19th century set the stage for a bitter battle between the International Harvester corporation and the radical Farm Equipment Workers union in the 1...

The Detroit Interracial Committee and Racial Pragmatism, 1944-1950
December 03, 2020

Sean Henry discusses the Detroit Interracial Committee’s (IRC) pragmatic attempt to ease racial tensions in the city following the 1943 Detroit riots. Assuming that it could not completely eliminate racial antagonism,

SEIU: A Successful Union in an Era of Labor Decline
November 06, 2020

Dr. Timothy Minchin explores how the SEIU nearly doubled its membership from 1980-1995, during a time of significantly declining numbers in most other American labor unions. Through an exploration of SEIU’s membership drives at nursing homes,

When It Happened Here: Michigan and the Transnational Development of American Fascism, 1920-1945
September 10, 2020

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,

Reading the Room: How César Chávez’s Early Life Prepared Him to Lead
August 20, 2020

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 commu...

Mechanical Engineer To Booth Babe and Back Again: The Tragicomic Career of Wayne State Engineering Alum Lucille Pieti
July 30, 2020

Society of Women Engineers archivist Troy Eller English shares the tragicomic story of Lucille Pieti, 1950 mechanical engineering alum and Miss Wayne University. Sidelined in technical writing despite her degree and experience,

(Re)Introducing the Michigan Black History Bibliography
July 09, 2020

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,