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Author: Allison and Mary

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The series you loved, book by book. Join Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney as they explore the wild world of American Girl fandom. In each episode, Allison and Mary will dive into an American Girl book from their (and perhaps your) childhood. Using their knowledge as professional historians and finely tuned instincts as amateur pop culture critics, they’ll take you back to a very different time—the 1990s.
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A lot has changed since the "Peek into the Past" chapters were written in the Addy books more than twenty years ago. In that time, the web has gone from a slow novelty to something we carry with us. More importantly, we now also have a new cultural form  - the crowdsourced web syllabus. The Addy syllabus we describe in this episode features books, articles, primary sources, games, snippets from AGIG, and more. This list pulls together works and texts that allow for a new or deeper understanding of Addy, and additional ways to consider her story in the context of American culture. One of the purposes of this syllabus was to update the story of civil rights told in the Addy epilogues. We credit black feminist scholars for their creation of this scholarly form: Dr. Marcia Chatelain started the Ferguson Syllabus in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown in Missouri. You can access the syllabus here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FtfimLFWcm9uQrGvXQso9Umn-gPELOAdAQotcVDz17A/edit You may also add to the syllabus by writing an entry in this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qGwxt55ommDkbZXPLzipDylI41QnaWaYW9yNIsEbeoA/viewform?edit_requested=true --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Addy Add On: Origins

Addy Add On: Origins

2020-05-2501:04:24

Who are the real people who became the basis for the Addy story? What happened to black women who liberated themselves, only to find a life of restricted freedoms in the north in the 19th century? Join us for this conversation with public historian Vera Cecelski, the Site Manager at Historic Stagville State Historic Site in North Carolina. Vera sheds light on the true stories behind the Addy books and the incredible journeys of people who were enslaved at Stagville. We ask what it's like to run an Addy birthday party and how educators at Stagville use WPA narratives. You can join our Patreon and get an extra episode for $3/month. This month, we cover Jessica Simpson's Open Book.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
For our first bonus episode on Addy, we spoke to Lacey Wilson, a public historian based out of Georgia. Lacey talked with us about growing up with Addy and her trajectory into a career in museums. Lacey also divulged details about the best college paper ever written on Addy (we aren't adding any qualifiers, we accept this as truth). Since this was not Lacey's first or even second re-read of the series, we also asked how another exploration of these books has felt during quarantine. For our next episode, we are building an Addy syllabus! We are interested in compiling sources that connect to Addy's story and/or the period in which these books were written. These do not need to be print sources! You can share a song, photograph, poem, movie, memento, museum object or artifact. You submit your pick using this form or leave us a voicemail at (860) 455-4091‬. We will be sharing submissions on the syllabus and on our show!  You can get a bonus episode of AG every month by becoming a patron for $3/month.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
As a British Knight once taught us, some people choose to live alone; some people choose the city. In the final book of the Addy canon, the search for baby Esther, Aunt Lula, and Uncle Solomon continues. When the family is reunited, it does not feel so good, and Addy learns of a death close to home. Though rightfully unconvinced by the promise of Philadelphia freedom, Addy steps up to read the Emancipation Proclamation to her church. As we come to the end of the Addy canon, we consider where we've gone on her journey and what the Peek into the Past is meant to do. The hosts also talk about why you need Fiona Apple in quarantine (ok that's Mary's expertise) and some books to check out during this time of distancing. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In book five, Addy Walker gardens in the sun and learns to empathize with Harriet despite the shade. While fundraising for refugees, Addy and her family tend to a garden plot while dealing with Harriet's snark and classism. Addy defies Harriet and pulls some strings to put together a heartfelt if strange puppet show for a good cause. When a devil in a blue dress runs away with their earnings from the fair, Addy stages an intervention. Just as Addy pursued a thief, this episode tackles a range of topics, including the new Netflix special "Self Made." To check out pop culture distractions shared by our listeners (and add your own!), explore Pop Culture Prescription. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In our last episode, we took some of your most pressing questions and left out content related to histories of medicine & disease. In this smaller mailbag pod, we talk about social distancing in the Kirsten era, Samantha's experience with the 1918 flu pandemic, and offer some additional pop culture prescriptions. To check out pop culture distractions shared by our listeners (and add your own!), explore Pop Culture Prescription.  Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Your date card has arrived, and we can't wait to share what's on our hearts. Join us for a very brief detour out of 1864 Philadelphia and into our mailbag. On this episode, we answer your questions on favorite historical sites, the books we've read this far, and grand unified theories about Bachelor and American Girl. Special note: for some of you, hearing others talk about pandemics past or present isn't what you are looking for right now. For that reason, we dedicated a separate episode to talking about the history of disease and how the AGs would quarantine. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In the fourth book of the Addy series, our young hero learns that sometimes you do get to have your ice cream and eat it, too. The spring of 1865 finds the Walker family in new circumstances. Poppa has come north, the family has moved out of the garret, and an incomparable sage has come into Addy's life, the darling M'Dear. As Addy struggles with problems as small as learning to jump rope and as big as systemic racism, her story continues to illuminate not just the interior life of a girl, but also a nation in transition. At the end of the book, Addy chooses the end of the Civil War to be her birthday, making her an Aries by destiny if not birth. This episode takes you though the most important April of Addy's life and along the way, sprinkles in the poetry of Maya Angelou, the history of ice cream, a detour into pandemic containment, and commentary on the disastrous decisions of Peter Weber. Wash your hands, find a double dutch partner, and treat yourself to our take on Happy Birthday, Addy. Note: for next episode, we'll be taking your questions, comments, and stories for a special mailbag edition of American Girls. So, ask us anything! Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month.  We are thinking of our #OGAG community during this pandemic. Thanks to all of you contributed to the Pop Culture RX: List of COVID-19 Distractions.  Stay safe everyone!  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In this third Connie Porter joint, we find Addy Walker longing for reunion and bracing for a lonely Christmas in Philadelphia. While this book has all the hallmarks of a typical AG “Surprise” book (a holiday! a doll! a father/daughter moment! moms overworking!) there are still additional surprises for Addy and her mother in this compact volume. As Addy continues to learn about the realities of life in the north, she questions why freedom isn’t free. Join us as we catch up on this week in popular culture AND Addy’s sharp criticisms of how refugees are treated in a racist and classist society. Love might be blind (thanks for ruining our week, Netflix) but Addy's story reminds us of the power of clear eyed look at history. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Newly arrived in Philadelphia, Addy and her mother set out to build a new life. Addy begins attending school and quickly learns the value of good friends (we see you Sarah) and the lure of the mean girl (not cool, Harriet). On Wednesdays, Addy wears pink, but when it comes to the big spelling bee, she crushes it in a new blue dress. As Mary and Allison review this Porter classic, they consider the careful treatment of both friendship & literacy. Filled with a cast of new and rich characters, Addy’s second story exposes northern racism, segregation, and the challenge of making a new life. Join us and dive into a book that makes you cherish your friends and favorite stories more than you already do. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Book one of Addy Walker’s story opens in a hot and hellish plantation cabin. By the end of her first story, Addy and her mother have taken their freedom, escaping bondage together. In this episode, Mary and Allison examine the corporate origins of Addy’s 1993 debut and a few perspectives on her status as an AG “first.” While considering representations of slavery, family, and whiteness in Addy’s world, the hosts also compare this first book with other characters’ plot lines. Lastly, this show tackles Bachelor Peter, the culture of CHEER, and what should be done about Sherb’s mysterious fall. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Three's Company

Three's Company

2020-01-3002:06

What costs three dollars a month and will change your life? https://www.patreon.com/americangirlspodcast
Fan fiction can take many forms. With that in mind, this episode goes off book and dives feet first into the world of historic textiles. After responding to our invite via Pony Express, Jessica Quirk, founder of The Kirsten Project, agreed to talk about her process. A fashion blogger and seamstress extraordinaire, Jessica has recreated several key Kirsten outfits and has plans to do more. Jessica generously shared what it has been like to make and inhabit carefully reproduced Kirsten style clothing. Along the way, we got to chat about re-enacting, Jane Austen festivals, and why Kirsten’s winter garb looks an awful lot like an ‘80s Mom sweater. As the old saying goes: a stitch in time may save nine, but a sharply made Kirsten pocket will get you many well deserved likes on Instagram. Check out Jessica’s book and her blog - Stars and Field: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/142367/jessica-quirk https://www.starsandfield.com/weblog/2019/8/17/the-kirsten-project-dress-inspiration Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Riffing on Janet Shaw, the wise songstress Sheryl Crow once said: "a change would do you good." As we read the sixth Kirsten book, we heeded these wise words and phoned a friend. For our discussion of Changes for Kirsten, we are joined by NY Times television critic Margaret Lyons. Working together, we try to find Shonda Rhimes and reason in the plot twists of this book. This proved challenging in a dense volume that includes a raccoon abduction, a house fire, and Kirsten’s discovery of a dead man in a cave.  With Margaret’s guidance, however, we came to a new appreciation of our eponymous yellow -haired heroine. We also stepped outside the text to offer a dramatic reading of the Janet Shaw original "Miss Winston's Reply," a play designed for 4-6 adolescents. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. For $3 a month, you'll get an extra episode of American Girls. We'll be covering books, TV shows, film, and other content either from the American Girl universe or other pop culture interests. Yes, this may include the Dear America books. This will be a supplement to our bi-weekly episodes. The first extra episode drops January 27th.  --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In this very special episode, Mary and Allison meet up with historian and chef Gwen in an undisclosed location. Armed only with munchkins and sheer grit, they set out to make some Food Network magic. As the author and cooking genius behind the blog "A Peek into the Pantry," Gwen brings years of expertise in the kitchen to the show. While making Kirsten's Pepparkakor cookies, Gwen explains how she got into cooking, dishes about her favorite recipes from Kirsten's Cook Book, and ruminates on what American Girl means to her. This episode also features Gwen's wife Jess, who offers her views on children's literature as well as trying times in our nation's history/Ben Affleck's career (yes, we are talking about Pearl Harbor). If you've wondered whether any of the recipes in your American Girl trunk are any good, this bonus Kirsten episode is for you. Learn more about Gwen's work here: http://apeekintothepantry.blogspot.com/ Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Before Jessica Alba had a hip-hop dance career, few may recall that Kirsten Larson was also making gold from honey. In the fifth Kirsten book, we find our young hero has become an unbearably brave woman of the woods. Undaunted by wild bears, Kirsten “saves the day” by finding honeycombs and eventually, creating a new revenue stream for the family. While Mary and Allison question Kirsten’s devotion to beekeeping (Bees? Beads? Her?) they tackle the concepts of wilderness and whiteness. This episode also includes an important discussion on Justin Timberlake and the unresolved, unanswered BOLO for Singing Bird. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
Snitches get stitches, but in this episode, we will see that secret-keepers like Kirsten get full hand-sewn quilts. Book four brings us straight into Gemini season, and plot twists and literal twisters abound. As the family makes plans for both a new barn and a new baby, Kirsten struggles with intense FOMO when new chores demand her attention. While Kirsten believes that her cousins/friends are making a quilt for their beloved teacher, they are in fact stitching together a special surprise for her double digit day. If flower crowns, barn raisings, and mid-19th century birthday parties (hello George Washington) sound like a good time to you, grab a cozy quilt and settle in. And if that doesn't sell it, this episode also includes a discussion of early aughts prairie living, settlement house reality shows, and a connection between Kirsten and the Kardashians. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
We know that not all heroes wear capes. In this episode, we learn that some explore “secret” caves and wear crowns. In “A Surprise for Kirsten,” a poorly timed trek to get luggage results in a near disaster for our eponymous hero and her father. Thankfully, Kirsten saves the day a bit early in her narrative arc—and just in time to be home for the holidays. As we consider Kirsten’s attachment to her belongings, we also examine her primary interests, which seem to be cats, carbs, and candles. If the Kirsten you remember is carrying a tray of goodies and wearing a wreath, this episode is for you. Come for the holiday magic and stay for our call to start investing now in $5,000 American Girl dolls in time for the season. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
During this episode, Mary and Allison channel a young Kirsten Larson and immediately hit the books. Diving right into Kirsten’s second story, the hosts start by examining her jarring introduction to the American classroom and all that entails (spoiler: threats of violence and male misbehavior). As they explore the power trips and perils of one-room schoolhouses, Mary and Allison also apply a laser sharp focus on the wonder that is Kirsten’s teacher, Miss Winston. To the surprise of us all, however, this wielder of rulers and molder of minds isn’t the most curious character in the book. Throwing memories of Marta to the wind, Kirsten becomes “best friends” with a local indigenous girl named Singing Bird. This revelation of course leads to a broader discussion of friendship, language barriers, and representations of native people in children's books. So, crack open your chalk, grab your slate, and prepare to get schooled. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
In this episode, we talk about the misadventures of not one, but three American girls who have found themselves in the Big Apple. After briefly recounting their experience at the American Girl Store in New York, NY, Mary and Allison launch into Kirsten’s first book, set in 1854. In under 60 pages, Kirsten’s story covers the travails of mid-19c immigration, cholera, steamboats, the thrill of hot train rides, and long walks to new beginnings. As they rediscover Kirsten’s life and times, the hosts also consider other children’s literature on migration and favorite primary sources on historic disease (miasma talk anyone??). In the words of the Larsons - have heart and come along for this next AG adventure. Want to hear more American Girls? Subscribe to our Patreon to get an extra episode each month for $3/month. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app · Couple Things with Shawn and Andrew: Former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson and NFL player Andrew East sit down to share their most vulnerable sides and open up like they never have before. https://open.spotify.com/show/7aGLm9HYn9mEyVr1FDzrpa?si=bgb4jh_nTyGiIabdk8BD8g
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Comments (2)

Tyler Beach

h

Sep 16th
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Claire Elizabeth

Loved that this exists!! flashback to my childhood!!

May 16th
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