Historians Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney bring history to life in podcastHistorians in the News
tags: historians, digital history, podcasts, public engagement
For many people, “history” is a topic of middle and high school classes, a thing of the past with no application to daily life.
But 32-year-old Allison Horrocks and 33-year-old Mary Mahoney see history as a way of connecting with others. And they’re using American Girl dolls to illustrate that point.
Horrocks and Mahoney — who both earned undergraduate degrees from Hartford’s Trinity College and Ph.D.s in history from UConn — launched a podcast called “American Girls” in February.
In the twice-monthly episodes, the two historians unearth the American Girl books that many of us read as children and tweens. The books follow each American Girl as they live in their respective time period — the classic series of characters are set anywhere from the 1760s to the 1970s.
American Girl offers an easy point of access into the study of history, something that many listeners don’t usually think about in their adult lives, Horrocks said.
“They haven’t really been connected to these kinds of topics since they were kids,” Horrocks said. “They’re listening, in some ways, more eagerly because they haven’t thought about this kind of stuff in 25 years.”