Johnson, Joan Marie
Johnson, Joan Marie
Home—Evanston, IL. Office—Department of History, Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, educator. Miami University, Oxford, OH, visiting assistant professor of history, 1996-98; University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, visiting assistant professor of history, 1999-2000; Newberry Library, Chicago, IL, scholar-in-residence, 2001-02; Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, lecturer in history, 2003—, cofounder and codirector, Newberry Seminar on Women and Gender, 2007—. Adjunct professor of history, Roosevelt University, 2003; lecturer, Lake Forest College, 2005.
Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, History of Education Society, Southern Historical Association, Southern Association for Women Historians (member of A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize committee and graduate committee; chair, membership committee).
A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize, Southern Association for Women Historians, 2001.
(Editor and author of introduction) Southern Women at Vassar: The Poppenheim Family Letters, 1882-1916, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 2002.
Southern Ladies, New Women: Race, Region and Clubwomen in South Carolina, 1890-1930, University Press of Florida (Gainesville, FL), 2004.
Southern Women at the Seven Sister Colleges: Feminist Values and Social Activism, 1875-1915, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 2008.
(Editor, with Marjorie Spruill and Valinda Littlefield) South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, three volumes, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 2009.
Contributor to books, including Warm Ashes: Issues in Southern History at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century, edited by Winfred B. Moore, Jr., Kyle S. Sinisi, and David H. White, Jr., University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 2003. Contributor to journals, including History of Education Quarterly, Journal of American History, Journal of Women's History, Journal of Family History, Journal of Southern History, and Florida Historical Quarterly.
Joan Marie Johnson is a lecturer in history at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and the cofounder and codirector of the Newberry Seminar on Women and Gender. She has also served as a visiting assistant professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and at the University of Cincinnati, and as a scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library in Chicago. In addition, she has been an adjunct professor of history at Roosevelt University. In 2001 Johnson was awarded the A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians. Johnson has written extensively about women of the American South. Her works focus on the post-Civil War impact on the lives and roles of American women, black and white, North and South. She writes of the social, psychological, and political consequences of war. Among her books are Southern Women at Vassar: The Poppenheim Family Letters, 1882-1916; Southern Ladies, New Women: Race, Region and Clubwomen in South Carolina, 1890-1930; Southern Women at the Seven Sister Colleges: Feminist Values and Social Activism, 1875-1915; and South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, a three-volume set she edited with Marjorie Spruill and Valinda Littlefield.
In 2002, Johnson edited Southern Women at Vassar. Beginning in the 1880s, the Poppenheim family of Charleston, South Carolina, began sending their four daughters to Vassar College, despite the expense involved and the distance away from home. The daughters were not expected to ever earn their own livings. After graduation, the family expected them to receive a yearly allowance until they were married. Despite this expectation, two daughters remained single and involved themselves in civic affairs in the community. The Poppenheim collection of letters, Johnson writes in her introduction to the book, "is particularly interesting because mother and daughters go far beyond summaries of their daily routines and health to discuss in thoughtful ways what it meant to be a lady, society and manners, family and friendship, and literature and learning. The reader is drawn into the world of the late-nineteenth-century female college student and Southern lady." According to Lynn D. Gordon in the Journal of Southern History, the book provides "interesting details about student life at a women's college in the 1880s and the life of an elite urban family in the New South." According to Monica Tetzlaff in a review for H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online: "Readers interested in the history of southern women's education will be able to compare the Poppenheims' experiences with those of women in southern colleges during the antebellum era and the twentieth century."
In Southern Ladies, New Women, Johnson examines the roles that women's clubs played in South Carolina in the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries. She looks at both black and white women's clubs and documents their contrasting issues and goals. White women's clubs in South Carolina were concerned with promoting libraries, education, and juvenile reformatories. They also supported the "Lost Cause" movement to honor the Confederacy. Their concern with Southern pride sometimes limited their ability to effectively work for social reform, such as in child labor legislation, and they sometimes clashed with the national General Federation of women's clubs over states' rights. Black women's clubs called for a "racial uplift" and promoted education and racial pride. They also raised funds for charity work. Both white and black women's clubs had little to do with the national or Northern wings of their own organizations, finding that their Southern groups were often looked down upon by the others. Jane Turner Censer in the Journal of American History wrote that "Johnson has brought a new angle of vision to bear on southern women of the early twentieth century." Megan Seaholm in the Journal of Southern History found that Johnson's study is "an important contribution to the growing literature that documents the prodigious activity of late-nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century women's clubs." "This is a useful and important study of club-work, gender, and race," wrote Kathryn M. Silva in the Journal of African American History, "and contributes to the growing historiography on women in the Jim Crow South."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of African American History, spring, 2007, Kathryn M. Silva, review of Southern Ladies, New Women: Race, Region and Clubwomen in South Carolina, 1890-1930, p. 300.
Journal of American History, December, 2005, Jane Turner Censer, review of Southern Ladies, New Women.
Journal of Southern History, February, 2004, Lynn D. Gordon, review of Southern Women at Vassar: The Poppenheim Family Letters, 1882-1916, p. 182; February, 2006, Megan Seaholm, review of Southern Ladies, New Women, p. 208.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (May, 2003), Monica Tetzlaff, review of Southern Women at Vassar.
Northeastern Illinois University Web site,http://www.neiu.edu/ (May 12, 2008), biography of Johnson.
University of Georgia Press Web site,http://www.ugapress.uga.edu/ (June 14, 2008).
University of South Carolina Press Web site,http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/ (June 14, 2008).
University Press of Florida Web site,http://www.upf.com/ (June 14, 2008).