Miriam Forman-Brunell

Professor Emerita of History & Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
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.

Dr. Forman-Brunell is a native New Yorker who earned her M.A. 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

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

“Girling of Work,” a Special Issue of The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (Fall 2019 12.3)
Dolls Studies: The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys and Play (2015)
Princess Cultures: Mediating Girls’ Imaginations & Identities (2015)
The Girls’ History & Culture Reader: The Twentieth Century (2011)
The Girls’ History & Culture Reader: The Nineteenth Century (2011)
Babysitter: An American History (2009)
Series editor, Childhood and Youth: History & Culture (2003-2008)
Girlhood in America: An Encyclopedia (2001)
Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of Girlhood (1998)