Welcome to the Shopping Mall Project! This is an initiative of the Spring 2017 American Material Culture class at Roanoke College. This project started when our class, led by Dr. Rosenthal, began to analyze different aspects of Valley View Mall in Roanoke, Virginia. Through this analysis, we found that shopping malls have certain elements that allow us to understand our own culture in many different and interesting ways. What we want to accomplish with this project is to introduce the ideas and theories that we’ve studied and apply them to a place that everyone knows.
Within the map below, you’ll see links to audio files placed in different locations. All of the stops on this audio tour have been written and narrated by students. By clicking on the links below, you can listen to students describe and analyze a specific aspect of Valley View Mall that they have studied.
Our main goal with this project is to present interesting ideas that readers and listeners may not have encountered previously. Technical problems can sometimes make that goal hard to accomplish, however, so if you experience any problems with the map or audio, please email Dr. Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for visiting this page and we hope you learn something new—not just about shopping malls, but about American material culture!
Valley View Mall – Audio Tour
4) Town Center
5) Amusement Park
6) Back of the House
8) Stores as Stories
9) Anchor Stores
Click on any number on the map to begin!
Click here to listen to Brian talk about the geography of the mall
Click here to listen to Haleigh talk about the architecture and design of the mall
Click here to listen to Macaulay talk about the demographics of the mall
Click here to listen to Ellie talk about the mall as "town center"
Click here to listen to Beth talk about the mall as an "amusement park"
Back of the House
Click here to listen to Patrick talk about workers' experiences "back of the house" in the mall
Click here to listen to Maggie talk about surveillance and security at the mall
Stores as Stories
Click here to listen to Gabby talk about the stories that stores tell at the mall
Click here to listen to Sam talk about the role of anchor stores at the mall
Click here to listen to Courtney talk about kiosks at the mall
Click here to listen to Sabrina talk about mannequins at the mall