Historian. Writer. Teacher.

Paul Ringel is an associate professor of history at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina. He studies and teaches histories of childhood, race, and popular culture in the United States from the 1800s through the mid-1900s. His first book, Commercializing Childhood: Children’s Magazines, Urban Gentility, and the Ideal of the American Child, won the Children's Literature Association's 2015 Honor Book Award for "outstanding scholarship in the field of children's literature," and is available now. His current projects include a study of Boston’s Royal Rooters, one of the nation’s earliest groups of celebrity sports fans; and the William Penn Project, a service learning initiative through which High Point University students are researching and building a website on the history of the city’s all-black high school from 1892 through 1968.

News & Events


"Paul Ringel’s impeccably researched and compellingly written Commercializing Childhood offers an important corrective to the assumption that children of previous centuries were “innocent” of the marketplace, or that they were unable to make choices among competing media...Commercializing Childhood, like many great histories, tells a story that seems quite familiar even as it covers largely uncultivated scholarly ground."

-- Anna Mae Duane, author of Suffering Childhood in Early America: Violence, Race, and the Making of the Child Victim 

"Ringel's nuanced interpretations are alive to the contradictions inherent to the precarious cultural balancing acts of juvenile publishing, and this book presents these findings in a clear and engaging style. This is the sort of solid scholarship that truly adds to our knowledge, and I predict that this book will last as a standard resource for many years."

-- Karen Sanchez-Eppler, author of Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture  


The William Penn Project is a classroom-based research project on High Point, North Carolina's African-American high school before desegregation.

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Boston's Royal Rooters is a research project on the nation's first group of celebrity sports fans and why they chose to devote themselves to the city's professional baseball teams.

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