Section

Announcements and Events

The New Early Mormon Missionaries Database

By February 8, 2016


Matthew McBride is the Web Content Manager of the Church History Department, author of A House for the Most High: The Story of the Original Nauvoo Temple, and a graduate student at the University of Utah.

Over 30 years ago, Mel Bashore began to create a list of Mormons who migrated to the Great Basin, pre-railroad. According to legend, the “database” was stored for years in a Word document. Eventually, the data was made available on the web as the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travels database. In addition to becoming an instant hit with family historians, the database has become an indispensable resource for historians of 19th-century Mormonism and sparked scholarship on the trail experience.

The pioneer database began as an incomplete set of data gathered by Bashore and other researchers—tens of thousands of trail pioneers were unaccounted for. With time and the help of missionaries and the community of family historians and trail scholars, it has grown by thousands of pioneers to become far more comprehensive. This combination of crowd sourcing and careful verification (which continues under the leadership of Marie Erickson at the CHL) was the model that inspired the new Early Mormon Missionaries Database, launched last Thursday at RootsTech.

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Write for Journal of Mormon History

By February 3, 2016


jmh_42_01_coverHere’s a message from JI’s good friend and recently-appointed editor of Journal of Mormon History, Jessie Embry:

Greetings JI readers. I enjoy seeing the interesting discussions that you have on the blog. I hope that you will consider expanding some of them and submitting them as articles to the Journal of Mormon History. There is not a back log anymore, and I am eagerly looking for seminar papers or chapters of your dissertations to enlighten the Mormon History Association members and other Journal of Mormon History readers. Guidelines for submitting articles are available on the MHA webpage. If you feel that you have something that is not quite ready for publication, I would enjoy working with you on it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jessie L. Embry

Editor, Journal of Mormon History

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Announcing The Marlin K. Jensen Scholar and Artist in Residence Program at the University of Utah

By January 14, 2016


marlin-k-jensen-large

Marlin K. Jensen

The Tanner Humanities Center is proud to announce its most recent Mormon Studies initiative. We have begun to raise funds to create a fellowship in the name of Marlin K. Jensen. OurMarlin K. Jensen Scholar and Artist inResidence Program will host prominent scholars with expertise in Mormon Studies or renowned artists who explore the relationship between faith and art in their work.

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Previewing 2016: Looking Ahead to Forthcoming Books in Mormon History

By January 6, 2016


A few weeks ago I highlighted the year of 2015 in Mormon historiography. But I’m not here to talk about the past. In this post, I highlight a number of books I’m especially excited to see published in 2016. This list is not comprehensive—it’s nigh impossible to keep track of everything in the Mormon publishing world—but I hope it captures a taste of what we have in store over the next twelve months.

Even beyond this next year, there is still a lot more to be excited about. Kathleen Flake’s book on gender, power, and Mormon polygamy and Laurel Ulrich’s book on polygamous women’s diaries are certainly going to shake the field, but they are not quite ready for release. (Word is Ulrich’s book is in the pipeline for a year from now, though, and should arrive by AHA 2017). And we all know the works-in-progress by stars like Spencer Fluhman, Quincy Newell, Steve Taysom, and others that we eagerly anticipate. But I think we have enough here to satiate our appetite.

Without further ado…

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Papers on Mormonism and Papers by JI-ers at ASCH

By January 5, 2016


This week, historians from around the United States will descend upon Atlanta for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. The American Society of Church History will meet concurrently—and happens to feature a number of JI-ers and several papers related to Mormonism. You can view the rest of the schedule here. If you are in Atlanta please let us know—we always look forward to meeting online friends in “real life.”

One more thing: if you are interested in offering a short blog post for JI about one of the sessions, please let us know in the comments!

The Nineteenth-Century American Scriptural Imagination: Three Case Studies
Thursday, January 7, 2016: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 10

Chair: James Byrd, Vanderbilt University

Papers:
Presidential Death and the Bible: 1799, 1865, 1881
Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

A Rushing Mighty Wind: Tornadic Pentecosts and Apocalypses in Nineteenth-Century America
Peter J. Thuesen, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The Abraham Mythos and Mormon Marriage, Early and Late
Kathleen Flake, University of Virginia

Comment: Philip Goff, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

 

The Confluence of Race, Religion, and Society: The Subversive Politics of Racial and Religious Minorities in the Progressive Era
Friday, January 8, 2016: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 1

Chair: Elizabeth Jemison, Clemson University

Papers:
Whiteness, Christianity, and Civilization: Western Culture at a Black University, Howard University, 1900–30
Matthew Bowman, Henderson State University

Liquor and Liberty: African American Preachers, Poll Taxes, and Anti-Prohibition in Early Twentieth Century Texas
Brendan Payne, Baylor University

The “Evil of Race Suicide Now Sweeping Like a Blight”: Eugenics and Racialized Religion in the Progressive Era
Joseph Stuart, University of Utah

Comment: Elizabeth Jemison, Clemson University

 

The Uses of Propaganda in American Religious History: Catholicism, Mormonism, Protestantism
Friday, January 8, 2016: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 1

Chair: Seth Perry, Princeton University

Papers:
“So Many Foolish Virgins”: True Womanhood, Nuns, and Propaganda in Antebellum America
Cassandra Leigh Yacovazzi, University of Missouri-Columbia

Religious Outsiders and the Catholic Critique of Protestantism in America
Bradley Kime, University of Virginia

Part Serendipity, Part Strategy: The Public Image Boost of the 1936 Mormon Welfare Plan as an Exception to America’s “Religious Depression”
J. B. Haws, Brigham Young University

Comment: Seth Perry, Princeton University


Job Ad: Production Editor, The Joseph Smith Papers

By November 25, 2015



POSTING INFO

Posting Dates: 11/24/2015

Job Family: Editorial, Writing & Language

Department: Church History Department

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Interested in getting a free book? Consider reviewing for the Journal of Mormon History

By November 16, 2015


From Jessie Embry, the newly appointed editor of the Journal of Mormon History:

The Journal of Mormon History is looking for graduate students and young professionals who are willing to share their expertise in Mormon history. So if you like to read and would be willing to share your views on a book, please consider writing reviews for the Journal. You will receive a copy of the book as a thank you, but more importantly you will have another entry to add to your vita. If you are interested in adding your name to the review list, please email the journal editor, Jessie Embry at jessie_embry@byu.edu. Please list areas that you feel that you are qualified to review. When books come available, Ron Bartholomew will contact you and check on your availability. You will have two to three months to read the book and write a 600 to 1,200 word essay explaining the strengths and weaknesses of the book. When Dr. Bartholomew asks you to review a book, he will send additional guidelines.

The Journal is also looking for articles that explore Mormon history. If you have written an outstanding paper for a class or have a special chapter that you have been working on for your dissertation, please consider submitting it to the journal at journal@mormonhistoryassociation.org. By submitting an article, you will learn the process of peer review and hopefully when accepted you will have another entry to add to your vita. If you have questions on submitting an article, please contact Jessie Embry at one of the email addresses listed above.


Job Ad: Historian, The Joseph Smith Papers

By November 9, 2015


Historian/Documentary Editor, Joseph Smith Papers  

UNITED STATES |  UT-Salt Lake City

ID 135195, Type: Full-Time – Regular

POSTING INFO

Posting Dates: 11/06/2015

Job Family: Library, Research & Preservation

Department: Church History Department

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Videos for Black, White, and Mormon Conference (October 2015)

By October 27, 2015


The Tanner Humanities Center has made the videos for the Black, White, and Mormon Conference available. The conference, held at the University of Utah on October 8-9, 2015, was an incredible experience for me as a participant. I would love to see more opportunities, funding, and venues dedicated to this type of public engagement. 

The McMurrin Lecture by Lester Bush:

A Commemoration for Those Who Have Died

Race and the Inner City

Race and Mormon Women

Race and the International Church

Race and Brigham Young University

Race at the Ward Level

VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE EVENT’S CO-SPONSORS

George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation | Greg Prince | Jess Hurtado | Smith-Pettit Foundation | Anonymous | DESB Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative (Utah) | Charles Redd Center (BYU) | College of Humanities (BYU) | Laurel Thatcher-Ulrich | Utah Valley University | Department of History (Utah) | University of Utah Press

#BWMormon2015


CFP: Communal Studies Association 2016 in SLC!

By October 15, 2015


Call for Papers for the Annual Conference of The Communal Studies Association

October 6–8, 2016
Salt Lake City, Utah
Anticipating the End Times:
Millennialism, Apocalypticism, and Utopianism in Intentional Communities

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Church History Department Job Ads

By October 14, 2015


Editorial Assistant—Joseph Smith Papers Project 

The Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is looking for an editorial assistant to assist with The Joseph Smith Papers. This is a unique opportunity to learn about early LDS history, work with primary documents, significantly contribute to the project’s research and production processes, and acquire a variety of new skills relating to both print and web publishing. This is a benefited, full-time position that is contingent for one year. The start date for this position is dependent upon employee availability, preferably between October and December 2015.

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McMurrin Lecture: “Looking Back, Looking Forward”

By October 6, 2015


Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture

Opening plenary session of Black, White, and Mormon: A Conference on the Evolving Status of Black Saints Within the Mormon Fold.

Thursday, October 8, 2015 / 7:00 p.m.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Dumke Auditorium

Open to the public. Seating is limited.

“Looking Back, Looking Forward: Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine Forty-Two Years Later”

2015 McMurrin Lecturer Lester Bush

Lester E. Bush Jr.

Lester E. Bush Jr. will reflect on the forty-two years since his seminal article was published in Dialogue which undermined the standing historical narrative that the LDS Church’s priesthood ban began with Joseph Smith. We invite Bush to consider the past forty years: what has changed, what has stayed the same, and what steps are yet necessary to bring about change.

Founded in 1992, the McMurrin Lecture supports the serious and knowledgeable study of religion. The McMurrin Lecture honors beloved scholar and teacher Sterling M. McMurrin (1914-1996), who served as U.S. Commissioner of Education during the Kennedy Administration.


Introducing MHA’s New Executive Director

By September 29, 2015


MHAAs many readers know, the Mormon History Association recently conducted a search for a new executive director. A few weeks ago they chose Rob Racker, a long-time MHA attendee and Utah-area business consultant for the job. I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with Rob this last weekend at JWHA and he seems like an excellent choice. Below is a brief exchange for JI’s readers to get to know Rob a little better.

[Also, consider this your urgent reminder that MHA conference submissions are due in two days!]

What is your own background, especially your intersections with the Mormon history community?

My interest in Mormon History and studies/culture has spanned over my entire adult life, but especially over the last 20+ years. I have a business/consulting professional background mostly helping companies with financial management and systems issues, so the interest and passion in Mormon History is mostly been from an amateur perspective. I remember reading Sillitoe and Roberts’ Salamander and  Naifeh and Smith’s The Mormon Murders shortly after the Mark Hofmann episode and later Juanita Brooks’ Mountain Meadows Massacre. After these and a few other books I couldn’t get enough of the “warts-and-all” kind of church history vs. the purely devotional perspectives learned earlier in my life. My first MHA Conference was in 1996 at Snowbird and I have been hooked ever since. I enjoy the intellectual stimulation and camaraderie of the diverse personalities, opinions and approaches found within MHA.

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Inaugural Joseph Smith Lecture at the University of Virginia, Senator Harry Reid

By September 18, 2015


Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid

The  inaugural Joseph Smith Lecture featuring a conversation with Senator Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader, will be held on Saturday September 26 at 2:00 p.m. in the University of Virginia’s Newcomb Hall Theater. The conversation will be comprised largely of questions from the audience.

Parking is available in the Bookstore garage immediately behind Newcomb Hall.

Tickets are available for free from University’s box office at https://tickets.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu/single/EventListing.aspx and may be picked up in the Theater’s lobby beginning at 12:24. Seating is open and tickets not picked up by 1:45 will be released to the public.


Proposing Panels for MHA’s Annual Conference: A Few Thoughts

By September 1, 2015


MHAWe are one month away from the deadline for MHA’s call for papers, so I thought this was as good a time as any to talk about the conference in general and conference papers in particular. I hope every reader of JI has had the privilege to attend MHA’s annual conference. It truly is a phenomenal time, with a mixture of solid papers and warm comraderie. It is quite unlike most historical conferences I attend where few people actually attend sessions and most people remain in the halls, at restaurants, and doing anything but hearing papers. There is certainly plenty of socializing and networking at MHA, but the thing that sets it apart is people actually care about the sessions, papers, and presenters. It’s refreshing, honestly. There are at times poorly-attended sessions, but more often than not the rooms are mostly filled, and not too infrequently they are overflowing with more anxious attendees than there are chairs. This is one of the conference’s great strengths.

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Fresh Update

By September 1, 2015


You may have noticed the Internet has changed under your nose. Web standards have matured enough that designers have more flexibility in typeface choices, layouts, and interactive elements. The prime medium for delivering web content has pivoted from the static and simple browser window to the mobile app. To take advantage of these developments, we’re launching a new design. Readers, rejoice—the day of an on-the-go, crisply formatted, mobile-friendly Juvenile Instructor has arrived.

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Job Post: Research Intern, Women’s History, LDS Church History Department

By August 19, 2015


The Church History Department announces an opening for a research internship with the Women’s History Team. This will be a part-time, temporary position beginning in September 2015.

Qualifications

•    Bachelor’s degree in history, religious studies, or related discipline, with preference given to those with master’s degrees and/or in doctoral programs.
•    Possess excellent research and writing skills.
•    Ability to work in a scholarly and professional environment.
•    Requires both personal initiative and collaborative competence.
Please attach a vita to your application, and email a writing sample to: jreeder@ldschurch.org

Responsibilities

Duties will include research related to contextual annotation of documents (identifications and explanations, genealogical inquiries, and biographical information), as well as detailed source checking. Research will involve work in primary and secondary sources for nineteenth- and twentieth-century America and Mormonism. Work will include general assistance to authors.

Worthiness Qualification

Must be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently temple worthy.

 

Women’s History

Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Emmeline B. Wells, and Eliza R. Snow


Call for Papers: Mormons, Race, and Gender in the Borderlands

By August 12, 2015


CALL  FOR  PAPERS:

Race, Gender, and Power in the Mormon Borderlands

Mormon history lies at the borders between subaltern and dominant cultures. On the one hand, due to their unusual family structure and theocratic government, Mormons were a persecuted minority for the better part of the nineteenth century.  On the other, Mormons played a significant role as colonizers of the North American West, extending their reach to the borderlands of Mexico, Canada, and the Pacific Islands. There Mormon colonists intermarried with Native Americans, Mexicans, Hawaiians and Samoans, even as they placed exclusions on interracial sexual relations and marriage. During the nineteenth century, Mormons also discouraged Native peoples’ polygamous practices while encouraging plural marriage for white women. And Mormon religious doctrine subordinated persons of color within church hierarchy well into the twentieth century. African-American men, for example, could not hold the priesthood until 1978. Historically, then, Mormons have navigated multiple borders– between colonizer and colonized, between white and Other, and between minority and imperial identities. This limnal position calls for further investigation. We propose an anthology of essays on race, gender, and power in the Mormon borderlands.

Over the past thirty years, historians of Mormon women have expanded our understanding of gender and power in Mormon society. However, most of these studies focus on white Mormon women, while Mormon women of color have remained largely invisible. This volume seeks not simply to make visible the lived experiences of Mormon women of color, but more importantly, to explore gender and  race in the Mormon borderlands. Taken together, these essays will address how Mormon women and men navigated the complications of minority and colonizer status, interracial marriage and doctrinal race hierarchies, patriarchy and female agency, violence and religious responsibility, and plural identities. These metaphoric borders were brought into play on the geographic and cultural borders of the United States. Specifically, this volume will encompass the continental U.S. West, the borderlands of Canada and Mexico, and Pacific Rim islands such as Samoa and Hawaii, exploring the intersectionality of race and gender in Mormon cultures on the borders from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. This focus will open new directions in Mormon history in concert with recent trends in western history. The anthology will have full scholarly apparatus and we welcome both historical research and interdisciplinary work.

Please submit article proposals/manuscript drafts by Sept.15, 2015, to Dee Garceau at <garceau@rhodes.edu>  (901-484-1837)

Co-Editors:  Dee Garceau, Rhodes College  garceau@rhodes.edu ; Sujey Vega, Arizona State University, Sujey.Vega@asu.edu; Andrea Radke-Moss, BYU-Idaho  radkea@byui.edu

Co-Editors’ Faculty Profiles:

Dee Garceau

Sujey Vega

Andrea Radke-Moss

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

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Scholarly Inquiry: Ignacio Garcia on Chicano While Mormon

By July 8, 2015


garciaIgnacio M. Garcia is the Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western and Latino History at BYU. He is the author of several significant scholarly studies of Chicano and Mexican American history and he mentored several JI bloggers when they were students at BYU. Ignacio recently published a memoirChicano While Mormon: Activism, War, and Keeping the Faith, which is the first installment in Farleigh Dickinson University Press’s new Mormon Studies Series. Dr. Garcia’s memoir recounts his early years, from his family’s migration to Texas from Mexico, his growing up Mormon in a San Antonio barrio, his time in Vietnam, and his college activism in the incipient Chicano Movement. With the Latino/a population now the largest minority in the United States, and Latino/as joining the church in growing numbers, understanding Mormon Latino/a history will becoming increasingly important in years to come. As the first published autobiography of a Mormon Mexican American, Dr. Garcia’s memoir is an important milestone.  For those interested in purchasing the memoir, here is a code for a 30% discount: UP30AUTH15 (enter it at the Rowman and Littlefield website, linked to above)

Continuing the JI’s occasional series, Scholarly Inquiry, Dr. Garcia agreed to answer the following questions:

1. Briefly, could you summarize the main points of the memoir for the JI’s readers?

I don’t know if you write a memoir with main points in mind.

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Let her be an Ensign.

By May 29, 2015


Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.30.46 PM

Two years ago, I wrote a post called, “In the Ghetto: I Like It Here, but When Can I Get Out?” I lamented the separation of Mormon women’s history from the general narrative of the church. Having people read what you’ve written is always lovely, but it is exponentially better when someone continues to think about something you’ve written and then chooses to do something about it. Thank you, Ardis.

Ardis Parshall–the mastermind behind the Mormon history blog Keepapitchinin–has moved to act. Always one to go above and beyond, Ardis has begun a daunting project of writing a broad synthesis of Mormon history written from the perspective of women–She Shall Be an Ensign. And she needs our support.

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