T. Adams – English Major and History Minor. While working on this project, I learned that before Davidson accepted women, many women completed all the requirements to graduate, but the school denied them a degree. History is important because the untold stories and what society has deemed “unimportant” reveal how power structures and hierarchies allow certain people to construct the narrative.
T. Bohannon – Biology and History Minor. While researching the history of women at Davidson College, I realized how biased recorded history is towards men, largely leaving the narratives of half of the population out of the picture. History is important to me because it allows us to build upon the wrongs of the past in the hope of creating a future with equal representation for all.
M. Bursis – Political Science Major and History minor. I was surprised to learn the sincere religiosity of the Morrison family, Davidson College, and the broader community in nineteenth-century North Carolina. For me, history is not only how we understand the past, but also the present. It is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Without a full and inclusive history, it is impossible to know who we are as a people and a society.
C. Clawson – History Major and Religious Studies minor. While researching the Morrison women, I learned that they attended high school at my alma mater, Salem Academy. I enjoy studying history as it allows us to connect with the past and appreciate those who have come before us.
E. Conklin – History and Hispanic Studies. While researching for this project, I learned about coverture laws that prevented women from owning property yet did not extend to the laws of women slave ownership. History is important in understanding our modern world and allows us to explore the realities of our institution’s history.
J. Griffin – Education Studies Major. The research process of this project further displayed to me just how complex historical narratives are and the importance of them being justly portrayed as such. Studying history broadens my understanding and perspective of commonly taught topics and, as someone who hopes to be a teacher, urges me to encourage students to approach historical study in this fashion at an earlier age.
T. Hagan – Psychology Major. While researching the Ladies Missionary Society, I learned how the women of the church organized themselves in order to collect funds to donate to other missionary societies. History is important because it allows us to give a voice to the marginalized and bring them into the master narrative.
S. Harden – History major and Studio Art Minor. While researching the women of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, I learned how religion and gender intersected to allow women unique opportunities for empowerment. I love studying history because understanding processes of creating, archiving, and writing history is critical in understanding our present and future.
E. Hudson – Communication Studies major and Hispanic Studies minor. While working on this project, I learned that studying the history of traditionally marginalized groups can be a difficult process due to the lack of detailed primary sources about their lives. History is important to me because it is worthwhile to tell the stories of those who are often left out of the master narrative.
A. Kilby– Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science Major. Throughout this project, I enjoyed learning about the inaccuracies in historical portrayals of relationships between slave-owning and enslaved women. History is important to see the breakdown of prior oppressive systems, break down current oppressive systems, and prevent new ones from forming.
H. Maltzan – Political Science Major and History Minor. While studying the Morrison women, I learned that women played a massive role, and continue to do so, in the Presbyterian church, in both formal and informal ways. History continues to be important because we have to learn from the past so that we do not repeat our mistakes.
M. McClelland – History Major. While studying the plantations around Davidson College, I found it shocking how little direct references to enslaved woman there are in the archives. History is important to me because I believe it is important to study it in order to understand modern problems.
M. McElveen – German Studies Major and Health & Human Values Minor. Throughout this project, I have developed a better understanding of the world and how small acts of everyday resistance can bring about monumental change. History is not just useful, it is essential. It gives us the opportunity to learn from our past mistakes and, as a result, helps us become better, more compassionate members of society.
C. Miller – History Major. While exploring the lives of the Helper women, I realized how little attention has been given to women’s domestic and economic labor. Women performed huge amounts of labor and received no credit. History is fascinating to me because through it, we can retroactively give voices to people who have largely been ignored in the master narrative.
E. Mills – Political Science Major and History Minor. While researching enslavement on plantations around Davidson, I found it fascinating how little information there is about enslaved people, much less enslaved women, in the documentary record. History is important to me because understanding history is essential for tackling problems which face the modern world, especially as a student of Political Science.
S. Moskowitz – Latin American Studies major and Gender & Sexuality Studies minor. While working on this project, I learned that there were proposals to make Davidson College coeducational as early as the 1880s, but that there was fierce opposition to this due to prejudice about women studying the same subjects as men. I believe that having a thorough understanding of history is a prerequisite to having an informed perspective on the status quo so that one help effectuate change in society.
E. Nagy-Benson – History Major. While researching slave owning women at Davidson, I was surprised to learn how much information one woman’s letters could teach us about race relations and everyday life. Consequently, it shows how important primary source documents from women are since they are so limited. I think history is so important to study because it helps us understand where we are, how we got here, and how to improve in moving forward.
I. Padalecki – History and Gender and Sexuality Studies Major. While working on this project, I learned that in the antebellum South, enslaved women resisted white slave owners by hosting secret dance parties in the middle of the night. History is important because it provides us with proof that activism and organizing have worked for marginalized peoples in the past and that they can still work today!
G. Pearson – History Major and Communications Minor. While researching the women of the Ladies Missionary Society, I learned that women played an important role in maintaining the financial records of the church. History is important because it helps us understand the past; inclusive history is important because it gives a voice to those left voiceless in the master narrative.
M. Rankins – History Major and Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor. This project broadened my understanding of deviance and resistance in the nineteenth-century Southern United States. Resistance is crucial to social progress, but does not always require large, revolutionary movements. History provides us with ways to contextualize the present moment and tools to decentralize master narratives that continue to prevent equity today. In its own way, studying the history of gender, women, and race acts as its own form of resistance too.
F. Resweber – Biology Major and Hispanic Studies Minor. While investigating the role of women in Davidson, I learned the Helper women were essential to maintaining many prominent businesses in Davidson, despite their exclusion from Davidson’s written history. This project shows the importance of history to correct these exclusions of women from historical narratives.
B. Riley – Psychology Major. Working on this project made me realize that there is not a lot of documented information about women; however, the information that we do have is very important and provides a lot of context to women’s lives in Davidson.
A. Turner – History Major and Communication Studies Minor. This project encapsulates what I have learned about history as a discipline while at Davidson. There are countless stories of the past that have not been told. Trying to find stories of women particularly in archives and databases continues to be a challenge that we as students must meet in order to expand the master narrative and rewrite history to include these forgotten stories
A. Ip – Anthropology and Physics Major.
I. Padalecki – Gender and Sexuality Studies and History double Major.