U-M Department of English
U-M English Home


Faculty Recent Publications

Recent Publication Information for David Gold


Educating the New Southern Woman: Speech, Writing, and Race at the Public Women's Colleges, 1884-1945


David Gold and Catherine L. Hobbs
Faculty Info


From the end of Reconstruction through World War II, a network of public colleges for white women flourished throughout the South. Founded primarily as vocational colleges to educate women of modest economic means for life in the emerging “new” South, these schools soon transformed themselves into comprehensive liberal arts–industrial institutions, proving so popular that they became among the largest women’s colleges in the nation. In this illuminating volume, David Gold and Catherine L. Hobbs examine rhetorical education at all eight of these colleges, providing a better understanding of not only how women learned to read, write, and speak in American colleges but also how they used their education in their lives beyond college.

With a collective enrollment and impact rivaling that of the Seven Sisters, the schools examined in this study—Mississippi State College for Women (1884), Georgia State College for Women (1889), North Carolina College for Women (1891), Winthrop College in South Carolina (1891), Alabama College for Women (1896), Texas State College for Women (1901), Florida State College for Women (1905), and Oklahoma College for Women (1908)—served as important centers of women’s education in their states, together educating over a hundred thousand students before World War II and contributing to an emerging professional class of women in the South. After tracing the establishment and evolution of these institutions, Gold and Hobbs explore education in speech arts and public speaking at the colleges and discuss writing instruction, setting faculty and departmental goals and methods against larger institutional, professional, and cultural contexts. In addition to covering the various ways the public women’s colleges prepared women to succeed in available occupations, the authors also consider how women’s education in rhetoric and writing affected their career choices, the role of race at these schools, and the legacy of public women’s colleges in relation to the history of women’s education and contemporary challenges in the teaching of rhetoric and writing.

The experiences of students and educators at these institutions speak to important conversations among scholars in rhetoric, education, women’s studies, and history. By examining these previously unexplored but important institutional sites, Educating the New Southern Womanprovides a richer and more complex history of women’s rhetorical education and experiences.

All recent publications by David Gold

  • Educating the New Southern Woman: Speech, Writing, and Race at the Public Women's Colleges, 1884-1945
  • Rhetoric, History, and Women's Oratorical Education: American Women Learn to Speak

All publications by David Gold

Selected recent publications


Educating the New Southern Woman: Speech, Writing, and Race at the Public Women's Colleges, 1884-1945. Studies in Rhetorics and Feminisms. Southern Illinois University Press, 2014. With Catherine L. Hobbs.

Rhetoric at the Margins: Revising the History of Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1873-1947Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008.
2010 Outstanding Book Award, Conference on College Composition and Communication.
Editor, Rhetoric, History, and Women's Oratorical Education: American Women Learn to Speak. Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Communication. New York: Routledge, 2013. With Catherine L. Hobbs.

Articles and chapters
"Seizing the Methodological Moment: The Digital Humanities and Historiography in Rhetoric and Composition." College English 76.2 (November 2013): 105-14. Guest editor, special issue on rhetorical historiography and the digital humanities. With Jessica Enoch.

"Remapping Revisionist Historiography." College Composition and Communication 64.1 (2012): 15-34.

"Writing Instruction in School and College English: The Twentieth Century and the New Millennium." A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to Modern America. 3rd ed. Ed. James J. Murphy. New York: Routledge, 2012. 232-72. With Catherine Hobbs and James A. Berlin.

"Students Writing Race at Southern Public Women's Colleges, 1884-1945." History of Education Quarterly 50.2 (2010): 182-203.
"'Eve Did No Wrong': Effective Literacy at a Public College for Women." College Composition and Communication 61.2 (2009): W177-96.

"Will the Circle Be Broken: The Rhetoric of Complaint against Student Writing." MLA Profession (2008): 83-93.

"The Accidental Archivist: Embracing Chance and Confusion in Historical Scholarship." Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process. Ed. Gesa E. Kirsch and Liz Rohan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2008. 13-19.

"Southerners Anonymous." Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual. Ed. Ted Olson. Macon: Mercer UP, 2006. 3-10.

Dept. of English Language and Literature

home mission statement sitemap contact

U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on Facebook
U-M English on iTunes U
U-M English on YouTube

435 S. State Street, 3187 Angell Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Phone: (734) 764-6330 Fax: (734) 763-3128