An award-winning teacher and scholar, Melissa Walker holds the George Dean Johnson, Jr. Chair in History at Converse College. Her current research explores American women’s experiences of aging in the twentieth century. She examines the ways women navigate challenges such as work and retirement, financial stability, caregiving, relationships with domestic partners and adult children, and efforts to maintain autonomy.
Walker is the author or editor of eight books and numerous articles on southern and women’s history, including Southern Farmers and Their Stories (A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title), All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941, (winner of the Southern Association for Women Historians’ Willie Lee Rose Prize for the best book in Southern history), and Work Family and Faith: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century co-edited with Rebecca Sharpless of Texas Christian University. In 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named her the South Carolina Professor of the Year.
Dr. Walker has received numerous grants to fund her research, most recently from the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College and from the Schlesinger Library of Women’s History at Harvard University. She is past-president of the Southern Association for Women Historians and the Agricultural History Society. She is a past member of the editorial board of the Journal of Southern History.