Specializes in United States history, particularly women’s and gender history
and the history of the American South.
Professor Spruill teaches survey classes in U.S. History (post-1876) and women’s
history; specialty courses in women’s history and southern history at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels; recent American history (post-1945); and “The
Historian’s Craft,” the methods course for History majors. She is the author of
New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the
Southern States (Oxford University Press) and the editor of One Woman, One Vote:
Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement (NewSage Press); VOTES FOR WOMEN! The
Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, the South, and the Nation (University of
Tennessee Press); and Hagar, a reprint edition of Mary Johnston’s 1913 suffrage
novel (University Press of Virginia). She is co-editor of The South in the History
of the Nation: A Reader (Bedford/St. Martin’s), and Mississippi Women:
Their Histories, Their Lives University of Georgia Press).
My most recent research continues my interest in the intersection of ideas
about gender and politics. I am exploring the emergence of cultural conflict
between feminists and antifeminists in the 1970s, the politicization of social
conservatives, and the role of gender in the right turn in American politics in
the late 1970s. My current book project focuses on the 1977 state and national
International Women’s Year (IWY) conferences which were supposed to inform the
US Congress on best policies for American women but polarized American
women -- even as they galvanized feminists and antifeminists for a prolonged
struggle over women’s and family issues that continues today.