Clio's Southern Sisters: Interviews with Leaders of the Southern Association for Women Historians

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It is no accident that the Southern Association for Women Historians enjoys the founding date of 1970. After extended and often bitter engagement with entrenched sexism in the decades following World War II, women historians found their voices and crafted a means by which to be heard. The years between 1970 and 1980 represented a decade of optimism for women who sought equality in the workplace. Professional women, professors of history most especially, found hope in organizations such as the SAWH, created to address issues of visibility, legitimacy, and equality in historical associations and in employment.

In Clio’s Southern Sisters, Constance B. Schulz and Elizabeth Hayes Turner collect the stories of the women who helped to found and lead the organization during its first twenty years. These women give evidence, in strong and effective language, of the experiences that shaped their entrée into the profession. They vividly describe the point at which they experienced the shift in their lives and in the lives of those around them that led toward a new day for women in the history profession.

Some found that discrimination followed them like a shadow, and the pain of those days still remains with them. Others sought their graduate education in institutions where women were welcomed and where professors valued their work and encouraged their success. Yet when they entered the job market, they found that some employers flatly refused to consider them because they were women. Lost job opportunities for women were linked in tangled ways to the prevailing image of women as less desirable as colleagues, or as intellectually weaker than their male counterparts.

Through the SAWH, these women were able to make changes from within the profession. They felt an obligation to help the next generation of women scholars. In the midst of a national movement to end sex discrimination through legislation, to increase women’s consciousness-raising efforts, and to acknowledge the economic realities of women in the workforce, these women came together to form an organization that could enable them to have the careers they deserved. This timely volume will be appreciated by all those who reaped the benefits for which these “southern sisters” fought so hard.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826215413
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 8/30/2004
  • Series: Southern Women Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Constance B. Schulz is Professor of History at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She is the author or editor of numerous books, including Michigan Remembered: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information, 1936-1943.

Elizabeth Hayes Turner is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Texas in Denton. She is the author or coeditor of many books, including Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920 and Beyond Image and Convention: Explorations in Southern Women’s History (University of Missouri Press).

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Table of Contents

Prologue : how this oral history came to be
The context
The Women's Right's Movement and the origins and development of the Southern Association for Women Historians 1
The interviews
I Pathfinders 19
A. Elizabeth Taylor 21
Anne Firor Scott 30
II Founders 48
Barbara Brandon Schnorrenberg 51
Mollie C. Davis 60
Arnita A. Jones 75
Rosemary F. Carroll 87
III Builders 101
Martha Swain 105
Judith F. Gentry 119
Carol K. Bleser 134
Elizabeth Jacoway 155
Jo Ann (Jody) Carrigan 169
Betty Brandon 184
IV Transformers 198
Margaret Ripley Wolfe 201
Darlene Clark Hine 214
Joanne V. (Jan) Hawks 225
App. A Interview questions 243
App. B Southern Association for Women Historians : list of chairs or presidents, 1970-2004 245
App. C SAWH annual meeting addresses 247
App. D Southern conferences on women's history 250
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