Three Converse alumnae and one honorary degree recipient will be among the women honored during a June 4 public symposium celebrating the lives of South Carolina women. The event, expected to draw scholars from around the world who have written about Palmetto State women, will be held at the University of South Carolina.
- Polly Hill Woodham ’51, one of the few living women featured in South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, will be among those honored. Dr. Melissa Walker, George Dean Johnson, Jr. Professor of History at Converse, has written an essay about Woodham’s life as a farm wife, educator, entrepreneur and farm activist.
- Julia Mood Peterkin, Class of 1897, the only South Carolinian to receive the Pulitzer Prize, and Alice Norwood Spearman Wright ’23, a New Deal official and Civil Rights activist will also be honored.
- Additionally, honorary degree recipient Jean Hoefer Toal, the first woman to serve on the South Carolina Supreme Court will be recognized.
Hosted by the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, “South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Time,” will take place in the Daniel-Mickel Center on the eighth floor of the Moore School of Business. The daylong event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will feature concurrent sessions with dozens of mini-presentations on the lives of notable South Carolina women.
The event is co-sponsored by the Southeastern Institute for Women and Politics and the Alliance for Women. The symposium is open and intended for the public; lunch is optional. Fees are $20 for registration and parking or $40, which includes lunch. Reservations can be made online.
For more information on the “South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times” symposium on June 4 or the Southern Conference on Women’s History June 4 – 6, contact the university’s conferences and event services staff at 803-777-2927 or via e-mail.
The symposium coincides with the release of the first installment in the three-volume anthology, “South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times,” co-edited by Dr. Marjorie Spruill and Dr. Valinda Littlefield at the university and Dr. Joan Marie Johnson of Northeastern Illinois University. The anthology is being published by University of Georgia Press. Throughout the symposium, authors will bring their biographical entries to life through lively accounts of South Carolina women who were patriots, slaves, plantation mistresses, abolitionists, suffragists, preservationists, mill workers, World War II shipyard welders, civil-rights leaders, artists, scientists, politicians and even a stock-car driver. A number of the women whose stories will be told are expected to attend and be recognized for their role in the history of the state.
The symposium on South Carolina women will take place just before a major conference, the Eighth Southern Conference on Women’s History, the triennial conference of the Southern Association for Women Historians. The conference begins the evening of June 4 and runs through Saturday, June 6. The gathering will feature women’s history scholars from the United States and Europe.
Those who attend the South Carolina Women’s History symposium on June 4 are invited to attend a dinner and lecture that evening, the opening events for the two-day conference. Featured speakers at the 7 p.m. lecture are Dr. Glenda Gilmore of Yale University, and Dr. Patricia Sullivan of the University of South Carolina. Both are leading historians of African-American history who will discuss women in the civil-rig