On Shelves Today! Book Co-edited by Professor Kathy Merlock Jackson


McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers have announced that “Shapers of American Childhood,” a book of essays on visionaries from L. Frank Baum to Dr. Spock to J.K. Rowling, is new on bookshelves today! The book is co-edited by VWU Professor of Communication Kathy Merlock Jackson and Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Mark I. West and is available at: https://mcfarlandbooks.com/p…/Shapers-of-American-Childhood/

 The newly released book focuses on the experience of growing up in the U.S. and being shaped by many forces. Relationships with parents and teachers are deeply personal and definitive. Social and economic contexts are broader and harder to quantify. Key individuals in public life have also had a marked impact on American childhood. These 18 new essays examine the influence of pivotal figures in the culture of 20th and 21st century childhood and child-rearing, from Benjamin Spock and Walt Disney to Ruth Handler, Barbie’s inventor, and Ernest Thompson Seton, founder of the Boy Scouts of America.

Dr. Merlock Jackson teaches media studies and children’s culture at VWU. She is the author of eight books and the former editor of The Journal of American Culture. She is an officer in the Popular Culture Association.

Mark I. West is the chair of the English department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has written or edited a dozen books on children’s literature and culture and is a former president of the Children’s Literature Association.

Dr. Merlock Jackson and several members of the Virginia Wesleyan faculty have written chapters in the book:

Ruth Handler (1916–2002): Toys, Barbie and Girls’ Choices (Kathy Merlock Jackson)

Jonas Salk (1914–1995) and Albert Sabin (1906–1993): Conquering Polio (Kathy Shepherd Stolley, VWU Professor of Sociology)

Judy Blume (1938–): Shaping Subjects (Susan Larkin, VWU Professor of English)

Steve Jobs (1955–2011): Technology for a Beginner’s Mind (Lisa Lyon Payne, VWU Associate Professor of Communication)