Always Coming Home: SC Female Veterans

“Always Coming Home: South Carolina Female Veterans” is an oral interview and documentary project that will investigate the experience of women veterans in South Carolina. A 30-minute documentary will be screened at two conferences at the University of South Carolina in March 2011, and additional activities related to the project are ongoing. SC Humanities supported this project through a Major Grant in September 2010.

Cathy Brookshire (University of South Carolina Speech, Communication, and Rhetoric), Dr. Hunter Gardner (University of South Carolina, Classics), and Dr. Charlene Spearen (Allen University, English), have created this documentary project on women veterans of South Carolina. Based on over thirty interviews with SC women veterans of World War II through today’s conflicts, this project is designed to give a public voice to the increasing numbers of women whose return to civilian life has been affected by diverse combat situations, but who have had little opportunity to share their experiences with the public.

The first component in the project is a 30-minute documentary film, tentatively titled Always Coming Home: South Carolina Women Veterans Speak Out. The film explores the outlook of former female military personnel as they describe their attitudes upon entering the military, their experiences while deployed, and their attempts to become reintegrated into civilian life.

Other components of the project include an anthology of poetry, written by women veterans and edited by Charlene Spearen, a play based on the interview materials, and permanent digital archiving of all materials collected. The documentary film will be first screened in March at two upcoming University of South Carolina conferences:  March 17-18 for the Women’s and Gender Studies Conference: Recovering Voices/Constructing Identities and March 24-27 for the Comparative Literature and Classics in Contemporary Perspective’s Conference: Nostos: War, The Odyssey, and Narratives of Return.

For more information about this project, please contact Cathy Brookshire at

Recovering Voices/Constructing Identities Conference:

Nostos: The War, The Odyssey, and Narratives of Return Conferencee

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