University of South Carolina

Give Today!
Valinda Littlefield and Marjorie Spruill
History professors Valinda Littlefield and Marjorie Spruill are co-editors of the first-ever anthology of South Carolina women.

Continued: S.C. Women Anthology

'...even a stock car racer.'

Included in the essays, written by professors, graduate students, and senior scholars—some from Carolina and others from all parts of the United States, the U.K., France, and Australia—are accounts of enslaved and free black women, plantation mistresses, abolitionists, Revolutionary and Civil War heroines, suffragists, civil rights leaders, politicians, artists, scientists, teachers, and even a stock car racer.

“As the editors, we tried to ensure that there was a balance in the women included in the anthology and tried to avoid giving the impression that they walked on water,” said Littlefield. “They were human and had the same frailties of all people.”

One of their reasons for working on the anthology, said the Carolina editors, was their belief in the importance of understanding history in order to be able to affect the present and the future.

“We want people to learn about the things that have limited women’s lives and constrained their opportunities, but also to know about how women managed to accomplish a lot despite those factors,” Spruill said.

Representing S.C. women

Though the anthology is representative of women in South Carolina history, there was no way it could be comprehensive, even if their sole purpose had been to chronicle the experiences of women who had made key contributions, said Spruill and Littlefield. And they did not limit it only to women who were famous.

“We were interested in the times the women lived in, so we chose individuals or closely related groups of women whose stories would help tell the story of their times,” Spruill said.

“Some of the women included in the anthology had an impact on society and were catalysts for change, but others had no impact other than on their families, though studying their lives provided insights into the times they lived in,” Spruill said.

“As the editors, we tried to ensure that there was a balance in the women included in the anthology and tried to avoid giving the impression that they walked on water,” said Littlefield. “They were human and had the same frailties of all people.”

Story Continues:  1  |  2  |  3PrintEmail

Related Links

News

Features

Media Relations

USC Times