Reverb Effect is a history podcast exploring how past voices resonate in the present moment. How do we make sense of those voices? What were they trying to say, and whose job is it to find out? We'll dive deep into the archives, share amazing stories about the past, and talk with people who are making history now. Presented by the University of Michigan Department of History.
Season 5, Episode 1: Curating the Remnants of Enslavement: A Conversation with Jason Young
In this episode, Paige Newhouse interviews Jason Young, co-curator of Hear Me Now: the Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina, a traveling exhibit housed at the University of Michigan Museum of Art centering enslaved artisans and the stoneware they produced.
Season 4, Episode 3: Clesippus and the Candelabrum: Imagining Disability in Ancient Rome
The funerary inscription of Clesippus tells an impressive story of illustrious honors and administrative achievements in Ancient Rome. But there is another story, one of a man who navigated slavery, disability, and the sexual advances of the woman who owned him.
Season 4, Episode 2: Forging Property from Struggle in South Africa
In 1911, a contested horse race sparked one of the largest movements by Black South Africans to reclaim colonized land. How does the history of the Native Farmers Association offer a glimpse into alternate futures of property ownership in South Africa?
Season 4, Episode 1: Laboring for the Puerto Rican Vote
What happens when ten Puerto Rican men try to register to vote in 1950s Connecticut? Their eligibility is contested, and Democrats and Republicans become embroiled in a heated debate that ends at the Connecticut Superior Court. The ten Puerto Rican men, however, get lost at the wayside … we don’t even know all ten of their names. How much of their story can we uncover?
In this episode, public historian Elena Marie Rosario sifts through archival records to recreate the story of these ten men, while also paying attention to how underlying themes of colonialism, ethnicity, and politics direct their story.
The Two Monsieurs
In 1836, two tailors transformed the fashion industry forever when they opened the first chemiserie, a shirt store, in Paris. Their radical feat? They tailored a shirt.
In this episode, John Finkelberg tells the story of how Monsieurs Pierret and Lami-Housset essentially invented the precursor to the modern button-down shirt. Within a few years, these garments were one of the most sought-after luxury goods. Created by expert men, these revolutionary new products embodied new notions of masculinity developing in nineteenth century Paris.
Except one of the tailors, Monsieur Pierret, was actually a woman.
The Real Housewives of Medieval London
In medieval London, survivors of the Black Death found themselves living in a world that was both very familiar and also very different. The loss of so many people created a severe labor shortage, forcing employers to raise wages. With higher wages, more people could purchase more items, live in spacious homes, and employ domestic workers to help care for these spaces and possessions. In the century before the Plague, such domestic labor was primarily a male enterprise. However, the labor shortage created by the Plague made gender roles expensive, and households experimented with household gender roles. It would take yet another economic crisis a century later for domestic work to become exclusively women’s work.
How both the care of household goods, and indeed, the goods themselves, came to be gendered was neither natural nor inevitable—it was a historical process. While demography and economics shaped London’s changing labor force, religious and moral literature guided the path of change and then justified the outcome. Taken together, these changes appear as backlash against the new opportunities and choices available to women in the first century after the Plague.