Dolls are the focus of this pioneering anthology establishing Dolls Studies as an interdisciplinary field of scholarly inquiry. This work revises conventional understandings of what constitutes a doll; broadens the age range to include female adolescents, women and others; locates dolls in untraditional contexts; and utilizes new methodological practices and theoretical frameworks. Placing dolls at the center of analysis reveals how critical girls’ toys are in the making – and undoing – of racial, ethnic, national, religious, sexual, class, and gender ideologies and identities. Catharine Driscoll, Robin Bernstein, Elizabeth Chin are among the dozen scholars who interrogate doll products, producers, players, and youthful performers (like Nicki Minaj). Covering eight countries and crossing three centuries, this volume reveals the potential of dolls – and girls at play – to construct and disrupt, mediate and contest, perform and rescript girlhoods.
The Many Meanings of Girls’ Toys and Play
Miriam Forman-Brunell and Jennifer Dawn Whitney
Mediating Girls’ Imaginations and Identities
Edited by Miriam Forman-Brunell and Rebecca C. Hains
Princesses today are significant figures in girls’ culture in the United States and around the world. Although the reign of girls’ princess culture has generated intense debate, this anthology is the first to bring together international and interdisciplinary perspectives on the multitude of princess cultures, continuously redrawn and recast by grownups and girls from the Ancien Régime to the New Millennium. Essays critically examine the gendered, racialized, classed, and ethnic meanings of royal figures and fairytale and pop culture princesses inscribed in folk tales, movies, cartoons, video games, dolls, and imitated in play and performance. Focusing on the representation and reception of the princess, this collection sheds new light on the position of princess cultures mediating the lives, imaginations, and identities of girls from toddlers to teenagers – and beyond.