Marjorie J. Spruill is Distinguished Professor Emerita of the University of South Carolina. Her areas of expertise include women's and gender history, American political history, and the history of the US South. Spruill is known for her work on women’s movements in the United States from the woman suffrage movement through the modern feminist and antifeminist movements. For the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, she published a revised and expanded edition of the anthology One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement that she edited to accompany the PBS American Experience film "One Woman, One Vote." The new edition carries the story of women and the vote up through the 2022 election. Her other works on woman suffrage include New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States (1993); several edited volumes including VOTES FOR WOMEN! The Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, the South, and the Nation (1995); and new editions of Mary Johnson’s 1913 suffrage novel Hagar, and Doris Stevens’s 1920 book, Jailed for Freedom: The Story of the Militant Woman Suffragist Movement. Spruill's widely acclaimed book, Divided We Stand: The Battle over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics (2017), considers the rise of the modern women's rights movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, the mobilization of social conservatives as the "Pro-Family Movement," and the conflicts between these two movements which contributed to the transformation of American political culture and led to the highly partisan and polarized political culture in the United States of today. For this work she received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, and the Gerald Ford Foundation. Spruill is also co-editor of author of multi-volume anthologies on the Lives and Times of women in Mississippi and South Carolina and a two-volume reader, The South in the History of the Nation. Spruill was a consultant for and appeared in several documentaries including MSNBC’s “On Account of Sex: The Equal Rights Amendment”; Nashville Public Television’s “By One Vote: Woman Suffrage in the South”; and South Carolina Education Television’s “Sisterhood: SC Suffragists.” Frequently a consultant to filmmakers, the media, and museums, she was an advisor for “Rightfully Hers,” the National Archives exhibit for the suffrage centennial. Spruill currently serves as chair of the Scholars Advisory Council of the National Women’s History Museum.
A discussion of the woman suffrage movement in the part of the US where the movement began latest, encountered the greatest resistance, and gained the fewest victories. It emphasizes the problems suffragists in the region encountered based on traditional southern assumptions about gender roles, combined with white conservatives' devotion to white supremacy and state's rights. It also places the southern suffrage movement within the context of the national suffrage movement.