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The Education of the Southern Belle: Higher Education and Student Socialization in the Antebellum South
     

The Education of the Southern Belle: Higher Education and Student Socialization in the Antebellum South

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by Christie Anne Farnham
 

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The American South before the Civil War was the site of an unprecedented social experiment in women's education. The South offered women an education explicitly designed to be equivalent to that of men, while maintaining and nurturing the gender conventions epitomized by the ideal of the Southern belle. This groundbreaking work provides us with an intimate picture

Overview

The American South before the Civil War was the site of an unprecedented social experiment in women's education. The South offered women an education explicitly designed to be equivalent to that of men, while maintaining and nurturing the gender conventions epitomized by the ideal of the Southern belle. This groundbreaking work provides us with an intimate picture of the entire social experience of antebellum women's colleges and seminaries in the South, analyzing the impact of these colleges upon the cultural construction of femininity among white Southern women, and their legacy for higher education.

Christie Farnham investigates the contradiction involved in using a male-defined curricula to educate females, and explores how educators denied these incongruities. She also examines the impact of slavery on faculty and students. The emotional life of students is revealed through correspondence, journals, and scrapbooks, highlighting the role of sororities and romantic friendships among female pupils. Farnham ends with an analysis of how the end of the Civil War resulted in a failure to keep up with the advances that had been achieved in women's education.

The most comprehensive history of this brief and unique period of reform to date, The Education of the Southern Belle is must reading for anyone interested in women's studies, Southern history, the history of American education, and female friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the whole range of social issues surrounding the education of women in the southern US during the first half of the 19th century. Noting that women's colleges and seminaries strove to maintain an academic standard equal to that of men's, while reinforcing the society's construction of femininity, delves into the tension which that disparity created among educators, and the strategies they used to deny it. Draws heavily from diaries, notebooks, and other personal papers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Alice Joyce
Farnham describes the development of institutions for higher learning for southern women of means, and the education that was available to them in pre-Civil War days. The staffing of these schools, the educational opportunities, and the conflicting expectations for southern women are observed within a framework of often distinctly differing prospects for their northern contemporaries. Farnham extensively researched both the structure and the quality of education for southern women in these early days, and her study, though academic, is a highly readable investigation of mores and systems of education that prepared women for a life of the mind, while at the same time indoctrinating them for conventional roles as wives and mothers.
From the Publisher
"Farnham has uncovered a wealth of information about a virtually untouched topic."

-Joan Hoff,Professor of History, Indiana University, Co-editor, The Journal of Women's History

"A highly readable investigation of [the] mores and systems of education that prepared women for a life of the mind, while at the same time indoctrinating them for conventional roles as wives and mothers."

- Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814728000
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1994
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
270
File size:
3 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A highly readable investigation of [the] mores and systems of education that prepared women for a life of the mind, while at the same time indoctrinating them for conventional roles as wives and mothers."

-Booklist,

"Farnham has uncovered a wealth of information about a virtually untouched topic."

-Joan Hoff,Professor of History, Indiana University, Co-editor, The Journal of Women's History

Meet the Author

Christie Ane Farnham is Associate Professor of History at Iowa State University and Founder of The Journal of Women's History. Currently at work on a history of African American women, she is the author of The Education of the Southern Belle: Higher Education in the Antebellum South.

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Education of the Southern Belle : Higher Education and Student Socialization in the AnteBellum South 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago