Miriam Forman-Brunell

Professor Emerita of History & Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Ph: 816-235-5728 x3
Fx: 816-235-5723
Email: forman-brunellm@umkc.edu


Professor Miriam Forman-Brunell, an historian of US cultural/social history, is the author and editor of eight books on the history of girlhood and dolls’ studies. Specializing in the history of girls and gender, childhood and youth, she teaches innovative online courses that utilize the digital humanities and material/visual culture methods to inspire students to think critically and creatively about the past.

Dr. Forman-Brunell is a native New Yorker who earned her MA in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College (1982) and a Ph.D. in US History from Rutgers University (1990). Before joining the UMKC History Department, she taught at Princeton University and Wellesley College. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the: NEH, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Smithsonian, Schlesinger Library, etc. She is Co-Director of Children & Youth in History, an NEH-funded online resource co-produced by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for New Media at George Mason University where she is also Affiliated Faculty. Forman-Brunell is on the editorial board of five journals, the executive board of Girl Museum, and is co-chair of The Girls’ History & Culture Network.

Academic Credentials

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College (1977)
M.A., Sarah Lawrence College (1982)
Ph.D., History, Rutgers University (1990)

Current Research

Dr. Forman-Brunell is currently completing Girls’ Economies & Girlhood Cultures: Work, Play, Performance, a co-edited interdisciplinary collection that is the first to focus on girls’ work and play cultures within the original framework of “girls’ economies,” socio-economic systems mutually constituted by girlhoods.

Girlhood in America is a girl-focused narrative synthesis that shifts girls from the historical margins to the center of analysis. Tracing the history of American girlhoods—from colonialism to consumerism, immigration to industrialization, settlement to slavery, popular culture to political movements, and modernity to globalization—sets into motion new lines of inquiry and understandings about girls’ agency from the colonial era to contemporary times.

Major Publications

Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of Girlhood (1998)
Babysitter: An American History (2009)
Dolls Studies: The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys and Play (2015)
Princess Cultures: Mediating Girls’ Imaginations & Identities (2015)
The Girls’ History & Culture Reader: The Nineteenth Century (2011)
The Girls’ History & Culture Reader: The Twentieth Century (2011)
Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia (2001)
Series editor, Childhood and Youth: History & Culture (2003-2008)