Since Pleasant Rowland launched the American Girl brand in 1986, the popular dolls and books have inspired generations of young people. The American Girls Podcast, developed and produced by two historians, re-examines the world of American Girl, applying historical analysis and social commentary to understand how formative the brand was for their own and others’ lives. The podcast has also cultivated a community of listeners who continue to engage with the dolls and stories in innovative ways; in this way, the show serves as a forum for ongoing conversations about the meaning of American Girl.
American Girls: A Podcast and a Community
Allison Horrocks is a park ranger who works in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her primary research interests are women’s history, concepts of work, and public service. In her work as an interpreter, Allison is passionate about connecting people to history through lectures, stories, and dialogue. As part of her work as a public historian, Allison is a co-host of the American Girls podcast. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Connecticut.
Mary Mahoney is the Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in digital humanities at Trinity College. She is a historian of bibliotherapy with experience creating digital exhibits and podcasts drawing on archival sound and oral history collections. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Connecticut.
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Allison Horrocks, Mary Mahoney; American Girls: A Podcast and a Community. The Public Historian 1 February 2021; 43 (1): 164–180. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2021.43.1.164
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