“This collection of essays is a celebration and an initiation. It invites readers into a reflective appraisal of the pathbreaking work of women’s history and women historians in the South over the past fifty years.”—Jennifer Ritterhouse, author of Discovering the South: One Man’s Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s
“A fine collection of essays which tells the history of a vital organization. It is delightful and imperative reading for anyone interested in southern or women’s history.”—Anne E. Marshall, author of Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State
Tracing the development of the field of southern women’s history over the past half century, Sisterly Networks: Fifty Years of Southern Women’s Histories shows how pioneering feminists laid the foundation for a strong community of sister scholars and delves into the work of an organization central to this movement, the Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH).
Launched in 1970, the SAWH provided programming, mentoring, fundraising, and outreach efforts to support women historians working to challenge the academic establishment. In this book, leading scholars reflect on their own careers in southern history and their experiences as women historians amid this pathbreaking expansion and revitalization of the field. Their stories demonstrate how women created new archival collections, expanded historical categories to include gender and sexuality, reimagined the roles and significance of historical women, wrote pioneering monographs, and mentored future generations of African American women and other minorities who entered the academy and contributed to public discourse.
Providing a lively roundtable discussion of the state of the field, contributors comment on present and future work environments and current challenges in higher education and academic publishing. They offer profound and provocative insights on the ways scholars can change the future through radically rewriting the gender biases of recorded history.
Catherine Clinton, the Denman Chair of American History at the University of Texas, San Antonio, is the author or editor of many books, including Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, Mrs. Lincoln: A Life, and Stepdaughters of History: Southern Women and the Civil War.