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Podcast: The story of a 1950s brooch

Posted on 22 June 2017

The Story of Things podcast has released episode two of its first series, exploring the story of a 1950s brooch.

The three-part series is presented by archaeologist, Dr Penny Spikins, and philosopher, Dr Dorothea Debus.  In episode two they discuss whether it is the stories associated with objects that ultimately make them special. They question what ‘power’ these stories have in helping people make sense of the world.

The podcast, supported by the York Festival of Ideas, coincides with a public online survey where the researchers are asking for participants to submit their explanation of why particular objects are important to them.


Dr Spikins said: "This brooch was given to me by my grandparents and is special because at the back of the brooch has a rare photograph of my grandparents just after they were married.

“I can think about my grandparents anytime I want, but why is this brooch particularly powerful in helping me recall them and the World War Two story attached to it?  In this episode we ask whether objects have a ‘stabilising’ function and whether they help anchor us to a particular time and place.”

The podcast series has been produced by third year students, Matthew Edwards and James Legros, from the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.  Music for the series is written and performed by PhD student, Richard Evans, from the University’s Department of Music.

Listen to episode two, The Story of a 1950s Brooch, here.  

Episode three, The Story of a Children’s Book, will be released on Thursday, 29 June.

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