Anyone who loves U.S. women’s history has a debt to Anne Firor Scott, according to the American Association of University Women. A trailblazer, Scott almost singlehandedly created the field of Southern women’s history. She served as Duke University’s first female chair of the history department, and taught in the department for 30 years.
AAUW says that Scott “revolutionized American women’s history.” She “challenged traditional notions of history in ‘The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830-1930.’” The book brushed aside long-held stereotypes about women who lived during that time.
Scott’s other major contribution was to create the groundwork for social and women’s histories to be accepted as legitimate academic disciplines.
Scott was honored Monday at the White House for her lifetime of work, receiving the 2013 National Humanities Medal. Scott – the winner of this week’s Grit Award -- richly deserved the national honor.