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2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat is 710 horsepower of American SUV
Families in an extreme hurry have a new option, with the 2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat promising 710 horsepower from the automaker’s now-legendary 6.2-liter V8. Though it may be bigger – and seat more – than a Challenger or Charger SRT Hellcat, this hefty SUV can definitely hustle.
0-60 mph comes in 3.5 seconds, Dodge says, while the quarter-mile takes just 11.5 seconds. Top speed is a whopping 180 mph.
It’s all down to the 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V8 engine, with its 645 lb-ft of torque. That makes it the most powerful SUV ever, Dodge crows. Standard is a TorqueFlite 8HP95 eight-speed automatic transmission, along with Launch Control for maximum performance in a straight line. Launch Assist, meanwhile, taps wheel speed sensors to each out for wheel hop at launch, and tweak the torque to boost grip.
Outside, there’s a new front fascia with a new chin splitter. A functional snorkel on the hood is joined by an air guide and updated engine oil cooler duct, to keep the drivetrain supplied with cool air. At the rear, there’s a new spoiler redesign for better aerodynamic balance. Rear downforce has increased by more than 400-percent, Dodge claims, hitting 140 pounds at 180 mph.
Along with electric power steering – with selectable tuning – there’s an upgraded suspension system. Compared to the Durango SRT 393, knocked off the top of the tree by this SRT Hellcat, there’s the promise of more comfort when you’re in Auto mode, and better handling in Track mode.
To do that, Dodge has used 18-percent stiffer rear damper top mounts, among other changes. The result is a 20-percent increase in total rebound control, the automaker says, plus 2.5-percent less understeer and more stability when headed into corners. Drive modes include Auto, Sport, and Track, along with a Custom mode which can be set with a variety of adjustments for the transmission, steering, traction control, AWD, and suspension behavior.
When it comes to stopping, meanwhile, Dodge has taken no changes. There are high-performance six-piston Brembo brakes with two-piece calipers at the front, and four-piston rear calipers. Vented rotors are all-round, measuring in at 15.75-inches at the front and 13.8-inches at the rear.
Like the rest of the 2023 Durango range, this SRT Hellcat version gets a revamped exterior and interior. There are new LED headlamps and daytime running lights – slimmer and more sinister, Dodge says – though the Hellcat loses the otherwise standard LED fog lamps so that the openings can be used for, you guessed it, more cooling.
Two-piece Satin Chrome SRT Hellcat fender badges have been added, while the standard wheels are 20-inch by 10-inch machine-faced in mid-gloss black. A Lights Out darkened version is available as part of the Black Package. Either way, Pirelli Scorpion Zero 295/45ZR20 all-season performance tires are standard, with P-Zero 295/45ZR20 three-season tires available.
Inside, there’s a revamped dashboard, dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen running Uconnect 5. The shifter is fully-electronic now, though it looks like a traditional version; the steering wheel has red backlighting for the SRT logo. The gauges, too, are matching red, while the seats are Nappa leather with suede as standard – with heating and ventilation – while a Lagnua Leather version in black and Demonic Red is available.
If you want to put a Durango SRT Hellcat on your drive, though, don’t hang about. Dodge says it will only be producing the performance SUV for the 2023 model year. Orders open up this fall, with deliveries from early 2023.
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Katharine Hepburn was a legendary American actress who appeared in over 50 films throughout her career. She is widely considered to be one of the greatest actresses in the history of American cinema and has won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. Hepburn was known for her independent spirit and her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms.
She was known for her classic and timeless fashion sense and often wore trousers, blazers, and button-up shirts. This was unusual for women in the 1930s and 1940s, but Hepburn’s style became one of her signatures. She was also known for her love of oversized sunglasses, which she often wore on and off the screen. Hepburn was also a fan of simple, elegant clothing and often wore pieces by designers such as Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality. Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon.What Distinguishes Her as The First Lady of American Theatre?
Katharine Hepburn was known as the “First Lady of the American Theatre” because of her long and successful career on stage and in films. She was one of the most iconic actresses of her time, and her performances were widely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Hepburn’s career spanned over six decades, and she appeared in over 50 films, many of which were critically acclaimed and commercially successful. She was also known for her independent spirit and her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms.
Hepburn was known for choosing roles that were challenging and unconventional and for her fierce determination to maintain control over her career. Hepburn’s performances in films such as “The Philadelphia Story,” “The African Queen,” and “Bringing Up Baby” helped to establish her as one of the most talented and respected actresses of her time. Her performances were widely acclaimed, and she won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. As a result of her talent, career, and personality, Hepburn was given the title “First Lady of the American Theatre” in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the film and theatre industries.Fashion Sense
Katharine Hepburn was known for her classic and timeless fashion sense. Her style was characterised by her preference for trousers, blazers, and button-up shirts, which was unusual for women in the 1930s and 1940s. She was also known for her love of oversized sunglasses, which she often wore on and off the screen. Hepburn had a preference for simple, elegant clothing and often wore pieces by designers such as Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy. She was also known for her love of classic, tailored clothing and often wore suits, trousers, and collared shirts. Her style was practical, comfortable, and effortless, which reflected her no-nonsense and independent spirit.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality. Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon. She was often photographed in her favourite, comfortable, and practical slacks, which was not a typical look for women in her era. Her fashion choices were not only a reflection of her strong, independent spirit but also a sign of the changing times and the evolving role of women in society. Hepburn’s sense of style was unique, elegant, and timeless, and it was a perfect representation of her personality and her work.
In addition to her love of trousers and blazers, Hepburn was also known for her love of simple, elegant clothing. She often wore dresses and gowns that were simple and understated but still elegant. She was also known for her love of colours such as grey, beige, and navy blue. Hepburn was not afraid to experiment with different colours and prints, but she always kept her look classic and timeless.
Hepburn’s fashion sense was not limited to her wardrobe. She also had a keen sense of accessorizing, often pairing her outfits with simple, elegant jewellery such as pearls and diamond studs. She also had a preference for low-heeled shoes and often wore loafers and pumps. Hepburn’s fashion sense was not only ahead of its time but also reflected her strong and confident personality.
Her style continues to be admired and emulated today, and she is considered to be a fashion icon. Her fashion choices were not only a reflection of her strong, independent spirit but also a sign of the changing times and the evolving role of women in society. Her style continues to be a source of inspiration for many fashion enthusiasts and designers.Conclusion
In conclusion, Katharine Hepburn was known as the “First Lady of the American Theatre” because of her long and successful career on stage and in films. She was one of the most iconic actresses of her time, and her performances were widely acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Hepburn was known for her independent spirit, her refusal to conform to Hollywood norms, and her fierce determination to maintain control over her career.
Her performances in films helped to establish her as one of the most talented and respected actresses of her time, and her fashion sense was also admired and emulated. Her talent and contributions to the film and theatre industries earned her the title “First Lady of the American Theatre” as a recognition of her outstanding achievements.
Among African American Women Voters, Optimism Is Its Own Superpower According to BU political scientist Christine Slaughter, Black women are driven to vote by their belief society can be improved—even though they’re skeptical the changes will benefit them
“What is it about African Americans, despite having fewer resources, that folks are still willing to participate in the political system?” asks Christine Slaughter, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences professor of political science who studies Black voter participation. Photo by adamkaz/iStock
OptimismAmong African American Women Voters, Optimism Is Its Own Superpower According to BU political scientist Christine Slaughter, Black women are driven to vote by their belief society can be improved—even though they’re skeptical the changes will benefit them
There’s a lot at stake this Election Day. Republicans and Democrats are fighting for control of state houses, governors’ offices, and Congress—with Republicans needing just one seat to gain control of the Senate and less than 10 seats to flip the House. The results could dramatically impact the number of states that will outlaw abortion, a driving issue for Democratic voters after the Supreme Court overturned national protections for abortion access. For Republican voters, immigration and crime are top-line issues, according to the Pew Research Center. Both sides are predicting catastrophe should the other win.
Christine Slaughter, who was awarded a Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship, wants to better understand how persistent and systemic inequality has influenced the way Black Americans engage in the political system. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
“It’s very easy to fall into the doom and gloom of what’s occurring and our political landscape,” says Christine Slaughter, a Boston University College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of political science. There are a lot of emotions that can drive people to the polls—hope, anger, fear, belief in a particular candidate or ideology—but Slaughter is particularly interested in the political behavior and participation of Black voters in the United States, especially their optimism.
“How do people remain hopeful, remain steadfast, have an outlook that can lead them to want to enact change versus to be motivated by anger?” she says, especially as minority voters face more structural barriers to participate in elections, like voter ID laws, limitations on voting hours, reductions in voting locations, language barriers, and other voter suppression tactics. This has happened as women of color increasingly shape and influence election outcomes. In her research, Slaughter studies how factors like resilience, optimism, and pessimism shape political decisions and actions.A Healthier Democracy
A good dose of optimism is linked to a healthier life. And, it turns out, being more optimistic and hopeful about the future can lead to a healthier democracy too.
Slaughter’s latest paper, for PHILLIS: The Journal for Research on African American Women, which is published by the Delta Research and Educational Foundation of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, investigated whether Black women who are more optimistic engage in politics differently than Black women who are more pessimistic. According to the paper, there is reason to believe that optimism is particularly potent among Black women willing to participate in the political process.
Slaughter, who was awarded a Moorman-Simon Interdisciplinary Career Development Professorship this fall, analyzed data collected in 2012 from the Outlook on Life Surveys, which polled political and social attitudes in the United States. There were 1,595 respondents, with 485 African American women, 380 African American men, 286 white women, and 315 white men. The survey, though 10 years old, asked the questions Slaughter was searching for about optimism and had an oversampling of Black women—a rare find in political science studies, she says.
Among Black women, she found that optimism was associated with an increase in different kinds of participation—including signing petitions, participating in a community organization, handing out flyers, and voting—more so than with white men and women in the survey. “This suggests that Black women who are optimistic about the future of the United States are also willing to engage in the political process, which ultimately brings about change in society,” the paper states.
Slaughter isn’t sure why Black women are optimistic about the nation’s prospects, yet pessimistic about their own—though she speculates it could be a result of coming out of the 2008 recession, or the timing of the questions presented to survey participants—but aims to dig into the reasons in future studies. For now, she says, there are lessons for those trying to win voters to their cause. Her article points out that while there is distrust among African Americans about the US political system, messages of optimism—like former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan of “Yes we can”—may mobilize African American women voters in ways that are underutilized.
A lot has obviously changed in the 10 years since the survey—two presidential elections, a record-breaking number of women elected to the US House of Representatives, Kamala Harris becoming the first woman and woman of color to be elected vice president, extremists attempting to subvert election results with an unprecedented attack on the US Capitol, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But, says Slaughter, a lot of core issues for voters remain the same.
“In 2012, we have murder of Black men by police and vigilantes that brought race into the national conversation, and at the same time we were financially recovering from an economic recession. In 2023, we have widespread inflation, an overreliance on the gig economy, vast economic inequality, the housing and homelessness crisis here in Boston—these are issues that have strung through 10 years,” she says.Holding Politicians Accountable
And with this year’s midterm elections, Slaughter hopes that minority voters in the United States can remain optimistic in a way that will translate to more voter participation and engagement.
“We, as voters, should be vigilant in observing which races, especially local races, [center] around the issues that matter, such as student debt cancellation, living wages, and affordable housing,” she says. “We have to ensure that the policy priorities of our elected officials represent our values as voters, and, beyond participating in elections, we have to hold them accountable in doing so.”
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While all large and successful organizations have already gone through significant digital transformation, 2023 may be the year that small and medium-sized businesses dive in headfirst. Are you ready to join the fold by embracing the next iteration of the business world?What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation has been called a lot of things over the years. And while some would argue that it’s nothing more than a buzzword, those who are involved with it know that it’s more than conceptual. When executed with vision and precision, it can revolutionize a business from the inside out.
Greater efficiency. Think about the bottlenecks in your business – the things that slow down processes, frustrate employees, and prevent you from reaching your full potential. In many cases, technology is involved. And if we dig a layer deeper, we’ll find that these technologies are outdated and/or being improperly leveraged. The beauty of digital transformation is that it allows you to fight through these bottlenecks and speed up your business through greater efficiency and output.
Better decision-making. It’s not enough to have data. You need to know what to do with that data. Digital transformation ensures you’re collecting and interpreting data correctly, which allows you to improve decision-making and guide your company in a better direction.
Enhanced customer satisfaction. Research from Gartner shows that more than 81 percent of companies are competing primarily on customer experience. And as we said on the front end of this piece, digital transformation is ultimately about the customer. By enhancing customer satisfaction, businesses can cultivate loyalty and squash the competition.
Increased profitability. An impressive 56 percent of CEOs say digital improvements have helped them increase revenue in the past. And as we move forward into a world where digital transformation becomes even more integral to the health and well-being of organizations, we’ll see this number grow even more.
Superior company culture. While customers may be the focal point, digital transformation has a positive impact on employees as well. Over time, this emphasis on digital transformation fosters a superior company culture that reduces turnover by elevating retention.6 Strategies for Seamless Digital Transformation
Digital transformation does not happen overnight. It takes years and months of appropriate planning and careful implementation. But, you may start experiencing positive results almost instantly. Here are a Couple of Pointers to Help you Do Precisely That:1. Gain Top-Down Buy-In
There’s not any digital transformation with no comprehensive buy-in from most organizational stakeholders. And more especially, you have to start the procedure with buy in the C-suite.2. Assign a Point Person
Do not be tricked into believing you could roll out a whole digital transformation approach using a hodgepodge group of men and women who have their hands in a dozen additional duties and obligations. If you would like to be effective with your strategy, you ought to find somebody who can guide the way. This may seem like employing a new man for your occupation or reassigning a person. In any situation, make certain to practice discernment.
There are a couple of important features to search for, such as an extensive comprehension of the digital market, in addition to a character that is conducive to building rapport and transferring others to action.
“They need to comprehend the effects of a brand new business model.
Also read: 10 Best Saas Marketing Tools And Platforms For 20233. Establish Clear Vision
Your”point person” will be responsible for helping to explain and communicate the vision to your electronic transformation strategy. It is more important your eyesight is comprehensive than tricky. It ought to be a holistic however specific notion that believes every part of the business.
Budget and operational costs
Your eyesight basically amounts to an electronic roadmap for your future. It clarifies where you are going and which elements of your company the plan will touch. (Which ought to wind up being each section, component, and strength.)4. Evaluate Current Gaps
Have a look at your present tech stack/processes and contrast this within which you wish to be in six months, annually, or 3 years from today. Consider where you will find chances to pivot and enhance, in addition to where you are coming up short. These are your own gaps.
Technological and process-based openings are where the chances for important digital transformation exist. You have to rethink your strategy to specific regions of your plan — such as sales and marketing — and envision what these regions could seem like in a perfect universe.
Also read: 9 Best Cybersecurity Companies in the World5. Set the Appropriate KPIs
Setting KPIs starts with figuring out what you would like to quantify and then building out there. If by way of instance, you’re trying to assess the achievement of a new program that you are presenting to a user base, very good KPIs would comprise daily busy customers, the ratio of replicate to new customers, conversion prices, abandon rates, and average time spent on an app.
Is your wish to rate customer experience according to a brand new onboarding process or customer loyalty program? Metrics like client satisfaction (CSAT), client attempt score (CES), client loyalty index (CLI), and opinion analytics are enlightening.
User participation is really a fun one to monitor. You’ve got choices like net promoter score (NPS), traffic resources, client satisfaction indicator, bounce rate, and departure speed.
Other large-scale KPIs that touch different facets include worker performance, innovation, operational functionality, and financial performance.6. Beware of the Shine
Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial GoalsWhere is Your Focus?
Every digital transformation strategy will have a unique flavor. And while it’ll look a bit different in execution and application, many of the same underlying principles are present across the board. For best results, study what others are doing and view their approaches through the lens of your customer and your business. Your roadmap lies somewhere inside these lines.
2023 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack Review
“What’s with the bee?” An angry insect might not be the most obvious mascot for a 485 horsepower muscle sedan, but the 2023 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack certainly has enough sting to keep the hive happy. And, though it’s not the Hellcat that tops the Charger line-up, kicking off at under $40k makes this particular Dodge a very interesting one indeed.
At a time when most manufacturers are playing with turbochargers, Dodge keeps delivering the huge displacement that traditionalists demand. In the case of the Charger R/T Scat Pack that’s a 6.4-liter V8 HEMI courtesy of the team at SRT, delivering not only all 485 aforementioned horses but a blistering 475 lb-ft. of torque.
Nobody ever accused the Charger of subtlety, but the R/T Scat Pack goes further than most. The dreamy B5 Blue finish is almost as eye-catching as the twin tailpipes are loud, while the smokey 20-inch wheels and huge hood bulge give the car the stance its numbers deserve.
In terms of Dodge’s line-up, it slots in-between the regular Charger R/T and the Charger SRT 392. Compared to the latter, you keep the 8-speed TorqueFlite auto transmission but lose the three-mode suspension, while the Brembo brakes are slightly smaller and use four pistons rather than six, while the wheels slightly narrower.
It’s no less attention-grabbing, mind. I didn’t dare poll them, but I suspect my neighbors quickly came to hate me, given the noise the R/T Scat Pack makes when you hit the starter button. Think along the lines of “angry baritone wildcat meets furious bees’ nest” and you’re on the right track.
Things don’t get much less raucous on the move, either. There’s a fair amount of tire noise, and the engine note is always fairly noticeable, even at highway cruising speeds.
I confess, the Charger came in for some above-average competition during my time with it, given that McLaren had handed me the keys to the astonishing 650S. At getting on for ten times the price of the Dodge, you’d expect the British supercar to be better to the point of superlatives, but the meaty American held its own in many ways.
There’s also the giggle factor, something which comes not from the bee but the bludgeoning of power as the Charger kicks you in the small of the back and rockets you down the road. Spinning the wheels is ridiculously easy to do, but avoid a lead foot and, with some nuance, you can coax all that energy into something more useful.
It’s insanely quick in a straight line – there’s Launch Control if you want to let the computer do its thing – and the 8-speed transmission shifts swiftly and smoothly, whether you leave it to its own devices or yank on the small paddles behind the wheel.
Sport mode is a button-press away, tightening up the throttle response and gear changes, tweaking the traction control, and adjusting the steering. If you’re inclined to fiddle, you can customize some of the settings yourself using the touchscreen in the center stack.
Cornering, meanwhile, demands a little faith. With all those liters under the hood, the Charger is unsurprisingly nose-heavy, but oversteer is predictable and the electronic nannying strikes a nice balance between keeping you safe while also letting you have some fun when it’s appropriate. A dab of extra power is often all it took to bring the RWD Charger back into line.
The brakes may be downgraded compared to the SRT 392, but the compromise doesn’t show. The Charger hauls itself to a halt with the sort of reassuring predictability you really want in a car of this sort.
Something has to give, mind, and that’s generally in interior comfort. Dodge’s dashboard is solid but plasticky, the buttons and controls straightforward if hardly inspiring. My review car had the $1,595 Nappa leather and Alcantara seat upgrade, which also throws in heating and ventilation, heating in the rear, a heated wheel, seat memory, and a few other niceties. Without that, you get black cloth seats.
$695, meanwhile, added navigation to the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, for the most part a solid and intuitive system borrowed from Chrysler’s parts bin. Unfortunately, like the Chrysler 300S I reviewed a few weeks back, it too possesses the most laggardly onscreen keyboard known to humanity.
Forget quickly punching in an address while you’re waiting for the lights to change; in fact, best factor in some time before your journey needs to start, just to allow your blood to cool down from the frustration.
Some of the other fancies I’d got used to in the 300S are also on the options list. Blind-spot and cross-path detection are part of the $595 Driver Confidence Group (which also includes rear-parking assist and heated side mirrors), while if you want adaptive cruise control it’s bundled in with the $1,995 Technology Group.
That also adds automatic high-beam control, collision warning, lane departure and keep-assist, power steering wheel adjustment, and rain-sensing wipers.
They’re nice toys, but I can’t help but feel that most would distract from the Charger R/T Scat Pack’s greatest charm: its raw, unadulterated power. This sort of power and torque really shouldn’t be accessible for such little cash, and even if you don’t have a track to go playing on, the snorting, grunting, gurgling noises the V8 is capable of even at moderate speeds are enough to fix a smile to your face.
That you can fit the family – and their luggage – in there too adds an unexpected degree of practicality.
You have to be okay with compromise to live with the 2023 Charger R/T Scat Pack. Fuel consumption will be high, cruising noise might give passengers a headache, and your neighbors will scrub you from their Christmas card list. Most of the geeky stuff is optional, and there’s a simplicity to the “power + angry style = great” equation that’s aeons away from some of the more respectable sports sedans out there.
Nonetheless, for under $40k you can have a car that’s usable every day but can keep up with exotica several multiples its price. An unapologetic slab of entertainment with enough to keep both purists and newcomers to the muscle car creed happy. And, really, who wants to be respectable all the time?
Making History Come Alive at American Girl BU doctoral student ensures accuracy of dolls’ stories, products
Tessa Croker, a PhD student in BU’s American and New England Studies Program, recently joined iconic doll company American Girl, where she ensures the historical accuracy of its products.
Growing up in England, Tessa Croker had never heard of, much less owned, an American Girl doll, but today her world is full of them.
She recently joined the company as an in-house historian, reviewing its line of historical dolls, books, and other products to ensure they accurately reflect the era they’re set in.
A doctoral candidate in BU’s American and New England Studies Program, with a focus on American cultural history, Croker (GRS’18) says her job involves researching the Civil Rights Movement one day, the Great Depression another, mining the historical landscape for facts and details that will help bring American Girl stories to life.
“The level of research that goes into creating a character’s world is remarkable,” she says. “So much work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that every detail about a character rings true.”
American Girl, founded in 1986, sells 18-inch historical dolls living in different moments of American history, as well as books that tell their stories. The dolls’ fictional stories in historic settings are meant to inspire girls and convey lessons about American history. Now owned by Mattel, the brand is a touchstone for many young women who had the dolls as girls, even as the company continues to attract a new generation of young followers with new doll themes, accessories, movies, web-based specials, a fan magazine, and its ever-popular in-store tea parties. To date, more than 30 million American Girl dolls and 155 million books have been sold.
“I love that I can apply my knowledge of pop culture and help girls approach history in fun ways.” — Tessa Croker
After graduating from the University of Sussex and earning a master’s at the University of New Hampshire, Croker enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences American and New England Studies Program. Before joining American Girl, she was a lecturer in the CAS Writing Program, teaching courses on the American Dream, Bruce Springsteen, and the Wonderful World of Disney. She is currently living in Middleton, Wisc., near American Girl headquarters, and writing her dissertation on the Walt Disney Company and its brand legacy.
The 32-year-old says her fascination with history and storytelling began when she was a girl. “I was surrounded by dolls and I loved historical fiction, particularly about World War II, so my younger self would have loved an American Girl,” she says. “There is nothing comparable in England.”
“I cannot think of a better job for Tessa,” Blower says. “She has a keen eye for analyzing material culture, an enduring respect for girls and the history of girlhood, and the ability to make sense of both in the context of American history.”Alerted by Google
Croker, who attended girls’ schools in the U.K., says she first learned about American Girl dolls during a visit to Chicago in 2009 when a friend who loved the brand brought her to the American Girl flagship store. She began buying dolls for her nieces in England and following the brand’s rollouts. She learned about the in-house historian job a few years later watching promotional material about one of its product launches that featured the company’s former historian. Although the job was not open, she set up a Google alert so she would be notified whenever a research job became available at the company.
In March, one did. More than 400 people applied for it.
American Girl’s executive editor Jennifer Hirsch, who hired Croker, says nearly all the job applicants had master’s degrees and about a third had or were working toward a doctorate. Croker stood out because of her ability to articulate what the brand meant to her, and she cinched it after submitting a six-page written assignment given to finalists for the position on short notice.
“The quality of Tessa’s insights, analysis, and writing was outstanding and exactly what the company was seeking,” Hirsch says.
American Girl typically releases one historical and several contemporary characters every year, and its editorial, research, and design teams are steadily working on several new characters, outfits, books, and products for existing dolls and characters at the same time.
The company has introduced 16 historical characters dolls since 1986. The characters are fictional, but the events in their stories and associated products are informed by actual historical events. In addition to fact-checking manuscripts, updating social media, and checking to make sure store displays are accurate, Croker researches characters’ names to ensure that they are true to their period.
Croker has been fact-checking merchandise associated with Nanea Mitchell, a doll launched in August whose story is set in Hawaii during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
She says her work is like an academic project. She draws on monographs, archival records, newspapers, even eBay for her research and the detail nuggets that can make a character come to life. That translates into narratives that don’t hide from the hard truths of history, while relaying them in an engaging and age-appropriate way.
“While American Girl caters to young children, they are teaching complex ideas and sophisticated historical narratives through play,” she says. “I love that I can apply my knowledge of pop culture and help girls approach history in fun ways.”
Megan Woolhouse can be reached at [email protected]
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