Drucilla Barker

Obituary of Drucilla K. Barker

Drucilla K. Barker, “Drue,” died unexpected, peacefully at home, January 12th, 2023. She leaves behind her husband, Carleton Reed, her son Alexander Barker, one sister, three brothers and several nieces and nephews.


Drue truly was one of a kind. She loved books, arts, contemporary dance, opera, movies, a fun party, lively conversations, good wine, the colors of patchwork quilts, and her beloved cat, Mozart. Honest, forward-thinking, encouraging, caring, generous, brilliant, humble, warm, and joyful. Drue will be deeply missed by cherished friends and colleagues, the many students she mentored at Hollins University and University of South Carolina, and by members of her professional affiliations, including the International Assoc. for Feminist Economics, National Women’s Studies Assoc., the Assoc. for Economic and Social Analysis, and others.


A professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, University of South Carolina, Dr. Barker’s scholarly work as a feminist political economist examined the roles of gender, race, and class in relation to labor, as well as issues of late global capitalism. Drue was editor, with Edith Kuiper, of three books, and author, with Suzanne Bergeron and Susan F. Feiner, of Liberating Economics: A Feminist Perspective on Families, Work, and Globalization, now in its second edition, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. A brilliant scholar, Drue made critical contributions to our understanding of gender and economics, care work, and global justice.


Drue was a comfort in stormy times, a leader at times of uncertainty, a voice of encouragement whenever asked, and a caring and dedicated friend to all who will fondly remember her contagious laugh and illuminating presence.

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