By July 28, 2012
Mormon women’s history is alive and thriving, as seen in the rich and diverse offerings at the 2012 Mormon History Association conference in Calgary, Alberta. Out of forty sessions within the two-day period, a full four sessions were entirely devoted to women’s historical and/or contemporary activities, with another three panels examining early Mormon marital practices and broader examinations of polygamy.
By March 28, 2012
Mormon women are in trouble again. Not for selling out to the patriarchy or for working outside the home. Not for having too many or not enough kids. Not for wearing skinny jeans or peep-toe shoes. No, this time it’s for being overwhelming subscribers to an online bulletin board site called Pinterest.[i]
By March 13, 2012
We might be a little late kicking off our Women’s History Month events here at the Juvenile Instructor. But our spirit is willing, and we still have sufficient time that we are pleased to offer your some significant contributions on Mormon women’s history from Jonathan Stapley, Amanda Hendrix-Komoto, guest blogger David Pulsipher, myself, and others. National Women’s History Month should be even more important to Mormons, intersecting as it does with the yearly March anniversary of the founding of the female Relief Society of Nauvoo. While the latter is given varying degrees of attention depending upon the particular ward or branch and its available resources, the former is sometimes dismissed as a tool of feminist political correctness. Still, I think the correlation of the two provides unique opportunities for LDS scholars to broaden our understanding of women’s experiences in the past, and to look for new ways to honor their contributions, spirituality, and sociality.
By March 7, 2012
My first interest in the 1893-94 diary of Lucy Smith stemmed from her brief visit to the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. “Fair diaries,” as I like to call them, are difficult to find, especially those written by women, with those by Mormon women even more rare. For my own scholarship, visitors to the fair potentially have much to reveal about contemporary American views on women’s rights, race, American patriotism, imperialism, technological progress and culture in the 1890s. Lucy’s diary didn’t give me as much of the cultural comment that I was hoping for, but a few promising nuggets.
By March 2, 2012
This week’s events have produced some of the most succinct, thoughtful and probing essays on the history and implications of race and Mormonism perhaps yet written: here, here, here, and here. Indeed, I love that we indignant white folks have raised our voices against the doggedly persistent and painfully antiquated racial ideologies within our religion. Truly, I do. I love that we’ve circled the wagons, that we’ve stormed the castle walls (pardon all of my martial metaphors, but they seem appropriate considering the climate.) Our esprit de corps is admirable and convincing. The problem is that some of our intellectualizing has perhaps had the counter-effect of privileging the white voices in our community over others who need to be heard from just as much, or moreso. To that end, I present for your consideration the story and words of a a former student of mine, an African-American convert to the Church and a returned missionary– I’ll call her “Kris” . . . . well, because that’s actually her name. Four years ago, as a recent graduate in history, she took an internship in a neighboring state and attended the local singles’ ward. One Sunday . . . . indeed, let’s give privilege to Kris’s voice, in a letter that she penned to her stake president following a disturbing incident in her ward.
By February 28, 2012
With the increased attention to George Albert Smith since his turn in the line-up of Prophets for the 2012 Relief Society and Priesthood curriculum, President Smith has captured the imagination of LDS members for his vulnerability, his personal struggles with chronic mental and physical illness, and his perceptibly gentle and compassionate nature. Indeed, his very flawed humanness has made him recently a kind of accessible hero-prophet—one with whom some Mormons feel a more intense kinship. With that keen interest, it’s timely to talk about his wife, Lucy.