Who are the girls that helped build America? Conventional history books shed little light on the influence and impact of girls’ contributions to society and culture. This oversight is challenged by Girl Museum and their team, who give voice to the most neglected, yet profoundly impactful, historical narratives of American history: young girls.
Exploring American Girlhood through 50 Historic Treasures (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) showcases girls and their experiences through the lens of place and material culture. Discover how the objects and sites that girls left behind tell stories about America that you have never heard before. Through a fascinating collection of historic sites, archaeological evidence, artifacts, literature, and music, the authors tell a groundbreaking new story of America itself, one that finally showcases the role that girls have played in the nation’s history and development.
In this interview, Allison Leigh talks to Ashley Remer and Tiffany Isselhardt about how they researched 12,000 years of history, how they picked the objects, sites, and monuments they describe, and the difficulties of reconstructing a history of girlhood when so much has been lost or deliberately destroyed. This episode is for anyone who is yearning for a more balanced representation in historic narratives, as well as those who are interested in advocacy-based history.
Allison Leigh is Associate Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries.