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American Girls

American Girls

By Allison and Mary
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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Samantha Spinoff Part 2: Suffrage, Zines, and More
In this second Samantha spinoff, we speak with Dr. Allison Lange, a historian of women's suffrage and visual culture. She talks about Aunt Cornelia's speech style, the Susan B. Anthony Barbie, and Black suffragists you ought to know (plus much more). This episode also has a rich visual accompaniment: the long-awaited, never-asked-for first-of-its-kind Gard Zine! You won't want to miss this homemade magazine (zine) filled with amazing Gard content. From a listicle about the Henry Ford Museum to local versions of great Gard, our listeners really outdid themselves. You'll never think of Uncle Gard, Car Culture, or the Saturn brand the same again. Special thanks to our dear friend Eric, who has now lent his ears and his voice in support of the show. Opening fan fiction piece submitted by listener Danni Z. and shared with permission. Read and enjoy the Uncle Gard Zine: http://bit.ly/UncleGardZine Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:17:42
October 12, 2020
Samantha Spinoff Part 1
In this Samantha spinoff, we were so pleased to be joined by Rebecca Brenner Graham, a D.C. based historian. An expert on the postal service, Rebecca studies the Sunday mail service (which was a thing until just over 100 years ago!) as a way to understand religion-state relations in the 1800s. Rebecca will take you to Such Great Heights and give you a whole other understanding of mail as a function of democracy and friendship culture. This episode also includes our take on Courtney Moore, a Pacman-loving American Girl from 1986 released this month. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:03:23
September 28, 2020
Made for TV: An American Girl Holiday
Sparks fly... it's like electricity (recently got implemented in wealthy homes). What has amazing casting, references to the 1904 Worlds Fair, and not one but two turn -of- the -century mansions? You guessed it: the Samantha movie. In this episode, we recap a made-for-tv WB masterpiece for the ages. Samantha: An American Girl Holiday was the first AG film and they went all out. Join us as we savor this Samantha centennial (2004) product, talking about everything from the cast (Mia Farrow??) to disturbing and colorful child labor scenes. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
56:22
September 14, 2020
Whoa, Nellie: Changes for Samantha
In the final book of the Samantha canon, we find just about everyone living la vida in loco parentis. Robbed of a GrandMary/Admiral wedding, we open with Samantha living with her aunt and uncle in New York City. When Samantha learns that Nellie has also come to the Big Apple, she's determined to have a reunion. Instead, she gets three new sisters. Upon learning that Jenny, Nellie, and Bridget are in an Annie-type orphanage, Samantha assists with a breakaway worthy of Kelly Clarkson. From child labor laws and class consciousness to chosen family, book six covers a lot of changes. We take you along for the ride, from Nellie's hard knock life to Samantha's Gramercy Perk brownstone. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:06:44
August 31, 2020
A Tripp Overboard: Samantha Saves the Day
If you thought a camp element was missing from the Samantha books, you're in luck! Samantha's fifth story is set in the family's piney Adirondacks retreat. When Samantha finds a sketchbook with forgotten family memories, she books a sketchy trip out to an island with the twins. This leads to an evening that is Wet And Perilous -- but of course our hero saves the day. Come along and row, row, row your boat as we all scream and Samantha reignites family  nightmares. This episode also includes a discussion of our second-favorite apprentice shortcut California lawyer: Perry Mason (Kim K. being one). Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:09:09
August 17, 2020
A Terrible Two and a Tenth Birthday
Gather round and grab your flower crown: it's birthday time. In book four, Samantha makes new friends, destroys a pram, and catches a suffrage speech given by Cornelia. She also meets Annie-like twins who leave Eddie (and by extension Sam's birthday ice cream) rather salty. Join us and have a marvelous time ruining everything. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:13:19
August 3, 2020
To Grandmary's House We Go ... for Samantha's Surprise
Ah, to be a young Victorian beauty awaiting Christmas in December 1904. Such is the life of young Samantha, who is afraid she won't receive a (second) very expensive doll in the span of a few months in this Yuletide yarn. While we wait with bated breath to see if all of her holiday dreams come true, we discuss gift giving, the Roosevelts (yes again and always), and the servants' labor behind Sam's holiday magic. This is an Elsa / frozen combo you won't want to let go. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:06:32
July 20, 2020
Classy, Bougie, Ringlets: Samantha Learns a Lesson
In the second Samantha book, we find her well established in a private academy, and just learning about class. Tasked with coming up with a speech on progress, Samantha summons her inner Elon Musk and preps for her big moment --while also finding the time to bring Nellie up to speed on years of missed schooling. Yet it turns out that Nellie has much to teach her, too. After hearing about Nellie's experiences with factory life, Samantha changes her TedTalk faster than Grandmary can summon a servant. Speaking of the 1%, this episode also includes our commentary on Selling Sunset and the serotonin snack that is Sweet Magnolias. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:10:13
July 6, 2020
Living in a Material World: Meet Samantha
With this episode, we go back to one of the original American Girl stories: Meet Samantha. Published in the age of Reaganomics, this AG asks a lot of questions from a place of tremendous privilege -- and we are along for the ride. Though she has every material comfort, Samantha, who was orphaned a few years prior, is lonely in the House of Grandmary. Apparently, money only gets her so far, and with this episode, we learn how she navigates new friendships (Nellie), rivalries (Eddie) and the interior lives of people who are employed at the house (Jessie, you deserve more). There may be a faux velvet hat on top of her head, but with a re-read of this book, we learn there's brains, too. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:10:53
June 22, 2020
Material Girls: An Interview with Caroline Moss
Girl grows up longing for a Bitty Baby and her accoutrement. Girl writes several books and launches a hilarious podcast. Fast forward to 2020: girl agrees to a shopping challenge and Beanie Baby market speculation on our show. Dear listeners - meet Caroline Moss, the author of the Work It, Girl! series and host of the hit podcast "Gee Thanks, Just Bought It." On this episode, we talk with Caroline about the joy of poring over an an American Girl catalogue and what we'd splurge on today. That feeling you used to get looking at the latest Penny riding gear and AG sleepover kits -- you want it? You got it. Consider donating to Historic Stagville if you're able. Take our Catalog Challenge! Do the $100 spending challenge using this holiday catalogue: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134421442@N08/albums/72157663591299692/ Pick any item to splurge on from this catalogue: https://www.flickr.com/photos/134421442@N08/albums/72157662670713742/ Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:13:39
June 8, 2020
Addy Add On: The Syllabus
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
41:47
May 29, 2020
Addy Add On: Origins
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:01:36
May 25, 2020
Addy & Lacey & Mary & Allison
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!  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:08:37
May 11, 2020
Philadelphia Freedom: Changes for Addy
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:07:05
April 27, 2020
No Strings Attached: Addy Saves the Day
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:07:12
April 13, 2020
Pocket -Sized Pod: Pandemic Edition
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.  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
35:45
April 6, 2020
Will You Accept this Mailbag Episode?
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:14:17
March 30, 2020
An Armistice Aries: Happy Birthday Addy
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! 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!  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:11:30
March 16, 2020
A Philadelphia Story, A Surprise for Addy
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.
1:10:42
March 2, 2020
Queen Bees and Spelling Bees: Addy Learns a Lesson
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:09:22
February 17, 2020
Connie Porter’s Inferno: Meet Addy
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:12:42
February 3, 2020
Three's Company
Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
02:06
January 30, 2020
Living History: The Kirsten Project
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 Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:13:55
January 20, 2020
How the West Was Fun: Changes for Kirsten
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:33:57
January 6, 2020
A Peek Into the Past, A Peek Into the Pantry
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/ Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:04:32
December 23, 2019
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Kirsten Saves the Day
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:07:17
December 9, 2019
How to Make a Swedish-American Quilt: Happy Birthday, Kirsten!
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:12:00
November 25, 2019
I Love Lucia: A Surprise for Kirsten
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:00:24
November 11, 2019
Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie: Kirsten Learns a Lesson
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:06:42
October 28, 2019
She's on a Boat: Meet Kirsten
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. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:06:44
October 14, 2019
Josefina's Journeys II: The Care & Keeping of Grief
On this very special episode, Allison and Mary talk with Allison Marek, a psychotherapist specializing in working with people with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and trauma. After we Meet Allison, she teaches us about the enneagram and shares her journey with American Girl. Allison then offers her professional perspective on the death of Mrs. Montoya, Mr. Montoya's unhealthy communication style, and Josefina's feelings of shame. This episode also includes insights into how you can be a good friend to someone who is grieving and healthy ways to process your emotions. Don't miss this conclusion to our summertime sadness and coverage of Josefina. You can learn more about Allison Marek on her website: https://allisonmarek.com/ Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:00:47
September 30, 2019
Josefina Journeys Part 1
In this episode, the hosts examine fan fiction about Josefina Montoya. After quickly realizing that there was a comparative dearth of material about Josefina and the Montoyas, Allison and Mary got to work and commissioned their listeners. As we are now all fond of saying, "Tia Dolores did it," and in this case, you did, too. Through the written word and through song, listeners took action and demanded new pasts, futures, and journeys for Josefina and Tia D. We consider the major trends and the bleak plotlines imagined by Josefina's fans. In the realm of pop culture, we also give our takes on the elite politics of Succession and the artwork of Amalia Mesa-Bains. Stick around for the end of the episode when we announce the winner of our first ever #GOAT Goat Writing Contest. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:05:59
September 16, 2019
Winter of their Discontent: (Nothing) Changes for Josefina
In the last book in the Josefina canon, we find that it is not just comedies that end in weddings--sometimes tragedies do too. To bring the Montoyas' story to a close, author Valerie Tripp arranges a marriage between Papa and Tia Dolores, who will now take on the mantle of stepmother. While this book finds Josefina pondering the future of her family, Mary and Allison use this opportunity to consider the overall arc of the series and what it conveys about nationalism. The hosts also consider a new line of empowerment Barbies, some important news coverage, and an Ashanti sighting. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:13:28
September 2, 2019
Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?
In Josefina Saves the Day, the Americans have arrived and things get (el Camino) Real for the Montoyas and everyone’s favorite interloper, Tia Dolores. For this summer story, the family visits grandpa’s compound just outside of Santa Fe for a big trade meetup. Armed with the fruits of Tia D’s forced labor experiment, they are ready to make some cold hard coin. After luring a young Missourian scout with a clay pipe, Josefina fears that the Jason-Bateman-like Patrick O’Toole is not a trustworthy trade partner. Eventually, Josefina channels both Felicity Merriman & Nancy Drew to save the family’s big trade, but not before a bizarre night out in Santa Fe. As Mary and Allison discuss Josefina’s spring-break-like jaunt, they consider what it means for her to be an “American” hero in the context of US imperial intrusion. They also tackle the film trailer of the moment, LITTLE WOMEN, pig history, and most important of all, a Leo season engagement.  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:12:55
August 19, 2019
Mailbag!
Why do fools fall in love? Why is the earth round? What is the meaning of life? Does Mary have a seltzer preference? We answer some of these questions, and many more, in this very special episode. During this brief detour from Josefina’s summertime sadness, we take listener questions and read from some of our correspondence with listeners. Trust us, it’s worth the Tripp. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
56:33
August 5, 2019
Cake, Rattle (snake), and Roll - Happy Birthday, Josefina!
Josefina: you know her, you love her, and at this point, you wish she could just catch a break. In book four, we find Josefina learning healing practices, both losing and then gaining a goat, and getting shortchanged on her first double -digit birthday. Though most of this book is about Josefina learning to do emotional labor and herbal medicine, Mary and Allison took this opportunity to examine whether Ms. Montoya is really a Pisces or is perhaps a Cancer or Taurus.  They also question the continued lack of joy and friendship in Josefina’s life and the heavy overtones of Catholic shame that tinge her one moment of youthful hijinks. Finally, the hosts consider a few of the podcasts and television shows that are part of their world this summer.  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:08:53
July 22, 2019
Christmas in July & Other Surprises for Josefina
Surprise! We are three books into the Josefina series and everyone in the Montoya household is still super sad. As Mary and Allison continue their exploration of Josefina’s colonial world, they find her Christmas story to be both deeply moving and riddled with Catholic guilt. As the sisters continue to grapple with the loss of Mama, their grief is eclipsed only by Dolores’s drive to work. While evaluating the town’s Freudian passion play that is at the center of the action, Mary reveals her own thespian past & a Quincinera connection.  Finally, after unlocking a potential connection to the film Sister Act 2, Mary and Allison consider how religion has shaped American girls from Josefina to Hannah B. Perhaps most importantly, the hosts also use this episode to consider whether Bachelor contestants are most deserving of encounters with the sublime (i.e. Vermeer paintings and Dollywood). Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:06:13
July 8, 2019
Josefina Learns a Lesson . . .or Did She?
In Episode 10, we explore Josefina Learns a Lesson, the second book in the Josefina series. One lesson we learn right away is never to judge a book by its (beautifully illustrated) cover. Though this book promises a school story, what it delivers is a story about a family being schooled by their once-absent aunt, Tia Dolores. Following a disastrous flood, Tia Dolores seizes her chance to inflict her priorities on the family. After making the family business solvent, Dolores begins her hotly contested campaign for literacy. Over the course of this episode, Mary and Allison consider Josefina's growing skillset (family therapy, weaving, sewing, spreading Catholic guilt) and whether Dolores is really just fleecing the Montoyas. We also wrap up our coverage of the HBO mega-hit Gentleman Jack, Taylor Swift’s contribution to Pride Month, and the couple bringing measles back. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:07:03
June 24, 2019
Meet Josefina, Mourn for Selena
In episode nine, we turn our gaze to the American Southwest & the youthful, plucky Josefina Montoya. Our analysis of Josefina’s books begins with two powerful questions—first, given the place and time, is this the story of a colonial girl? Second, just how many references to Tejana queen Selena will we make per episode? While representations of imperialism in early American history are hard to unpack, over the course of this show, we’ll reveal why Meet Josefina had us reeling for still other reasons. Maybe you didn’t see how this book set in an 1820s borderland community (what’s now New Mexico) was essentially ripped from the 1990s melodrama THE PIANO.  But once you hear our take on Tia Dolores, you’ll see that’s why we’re here—note: we are also here to remind you of 90s crossover stars gone too soon.  At the end of this episode, we put out a special call for you to contact our hotline! You may reach us at 1-860-455-4091 with YOUR hot takes for Pride Month 2019. Whether you think Molly is the queerest of them all, or just have to share your Samantha take, reach out to us!  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:09:41
June 10, 2019
Felicity Futures Part II- The Film
If we've said it once, we've said it at least a dozen times: if Felicity was good enough to launch Shailene Woodley’s career, it is more than enough for this podcast. In episode eight, we consider Woodley’s turn as a spunky colonial frenemy in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure  (2005). Along the way, we ask important questions about its team of producers, which was mysteriously led by none other than America’s sweetheart, Julia Roberts. This line of inquiry includes a stunning and hair raising revelation by Mary. We also wonder aloud why grown men take time to consume this material in a hate-watch fashion & then post about it. Lastly, Mary and Allison share their thoughts on the HBO-produced show everyone is talking about, and no, there is not a throne, but there is a queer hero.  Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:01:24
May 27, 2019
Felicity Futures Part I - Fan Fiction
Upon completing the six canon Felicity books, Mary and Allison turn to fan fiction. In addition to reading some fans’ stories that fall within the Valerie Tripp timeline, they investigate alternative narratives, including a Men in Black II crossover. Inspired by the wild world of Felicity fic, the hosts pick up their own proverbial quill and imagine a few other Felicity plots. This episode also includes Olsen twin news and an Ann Rinaldi bombshell. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
50:58
May 13, 2019
You Say You Want a Revolution-Changes for Felicity
If times are a changin, why does so little happen in this book? During this final Felicity saga, friendships are tested, grandfathers and town frenemies fall ill, and a foal is born. While reflecting on this journey we’ve taken with Williamsburg’s fave redhead, Mary and Allison question not only her development arc, but the redemption of Jiggy Nye and the absolution of Felicity’s grandpa. Last but never least, we find ourselves reeling over recent news on the collapse of the British empire (see: cheating rumors of Prince William) and America’s favorite not-a- girl-not-yet-woman Britney Spears. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:08:05
April 29, 2019
Looking for a Hero: Felicity Saves the Day
In book five, it’s the summer of 1775 but the spirit of 1776 is heating up along with the temperatures in colonial Virginia. Mrs. Merriman is pregnant, Mr. Merriman is having financial troubles, and Felicity is her usual spirited self - so the family of course takes a road trip to grandpa’s. But this journey through the woods includes a lurking Ben, who’s broken his apprenticeship and leg. Felicity will have to make some tough choices about loyalty and dependence and we’ll navigate how we feel about a woman photographing a black hole. We also take a look at a recent visit to Mount Vernon and the racial politics of portraying servitude in AG. Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:01:50
April 15, 2019
Felicity, Sweet Birthday Babyyy
Typically the magazines we talk about are Us Weekly and People but in this episode, Mary and Allison get into the Williamsburg gunpowder plot of 1775. Book four features Felicity’s birthday and the knowledge that as she enters her double digit years, she’s fully prepared to blow the whistle on loyalists. As we explore Felicity’s new 10-year-old level interests (gardening? the guitar!?) we weigh what it means that she’s an Earth sign & a Taurus. Last but not least, we look back at the history of children’s birthday parties. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-perks-long-distance-friend https://www.bustle.com/p/which-american-girl-doll-you-are-based-on-your-zodiac-sign-3267558 https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/01/the-new-age-of-astrology/550034/ Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:05:54
April 1, 2019
A Surprise Party in the (Not Yet) U.S.A.
There’s a governor’s ball and Felicity WILL dance (and cry along the way) if she wants to in Felicity’s Surprise. In unpacking this third installment, Mary and Allison discuss the extent to which the title character’s surprise is not just a new dress or doll but the extent to which “woke” Ben wants her to be domesticated. We also trace the feverish dots between Mrs. Merriman’s illness, The Yellow Wallpaper, and Theranos. If you didn’t see the Elizabeth Holmes/Felicity Merriman connection coming, hold your horses–there’s also a colonial Williamsburg/Bachelor Nation tie-in. This is one we couldn’t wait to drop. Great analysis of Golden Girls and chronic fatigue syndrome: https://nursingclio.org/2018/09/25/golden-girls-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-and-the-legacies-of-hysteria/ Holiday Magic is Made by Women, and it’s Killing Us: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/emotional-labor-holidaysn5a1ec905e4b0d724fed5588a Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:05:06
March 18, 2019
Felicity Learns a Lesson—Will We?
Loose lips may sink ships, and in Felicity Learns a Lesson, we learn how loose tea and teeth can bring down an empire…or just a bratty imperialist. In this episode, Mary and Allison question Felicity’s bonafides as a friend, whether Ben Franklin was an influencer, and the importance of the Yorktown tea party. We also connect the Fyre Fest debacle to colonial politics and ask a vital question: who’s looking out for Ashanti? Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
1:01:58
March 1, 2019
Meet Felicity, Meet Us
In their very first episode, Mary and Allison talk about their origin story, attending American Girl Live! as thirty-somethings, and Valerie Tripp’s masterwork Meet Felicity. While exploring the world set out in the Felicity books (1770s colonial Virginia) they question the title character’s exclusive devotion to freeing a local horse named Penny. Last but not least, they address an important petition on American Girl dolls and representation. Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/american-girl-dolls-american-girl-will-not-make-a-doll-with-down-syndrome Visit our merch store!  Join our patreon! Follow the show on Instagram (@americangirlspodcast) and Twitter (@agirlspod) Email us at AmericanGirlsPod@gmail.com You can follow Allison on Instagram (@allisonhorrocks) and Twitter (@allisonhorrocks) You can follow Mary on Instagram (@mimimahoney) and Twitter (@MaryMahoney123)
54:33
February 28, 2019
Trailer
Join historians and friends Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney as they relive the American Girls series one book at a time. New episodes every other week. Debuts March 1st.
01:43
February 24, 2019