is a collection inspired by the Fifth Southern Conference on Women’s History. The essays in this volume are particularly astute in assessing how southern women, in the course of “searching for their places,” have individually or collectively sought to empower themselves. The essays, written by outstanding historians in this field, represent some of the freshest and most exciting scholarship about women in the South. They convincingly illustrate how the national experience looks different when southern women become the focus.
The essayists use extensive analyses of primary source materials to examine a variety of issues that have confronted women in the South from the days of English colonization through the civil rights struggles of the post–World War II era. The collection is well balanced in its periodization, with one essay on the seventeenth century, four on the antebellum years, one on the Civil War, three on the immediate postbellum era, and four based in the twentieth century.
Studying women of different colors, backgrounds, and stations across the region and across four centuries, Searching for Their Places will appeal to historians, the general reader, and anyone interested in women’s studies.