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Announcements and Events

Guest Post: Introducing Foundational Texts of Mormonism (OUP, 2018)

By December 12, 2017


The following is a guest post from friend-of-the-JI Mark Ashurst-McGee, the Senior Research and Review Historian at the Joseph Smith Papers and co-editor of several volumes in the series. He holds degrees in American History from Arizona State University, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University. Ashurst-McGee has authored award-winning graduate theses on Joseph Smith’s Zion project and the Mormon prophet’s use of seer stones and he is the author of several articles. He is the co-editor, along with Robin Scott Jensen and Sharalyn D. Howcroft, of Foundational Texts of Mormonism: Examining Major Early Sources, forthcoming in February 2018 from Oxford University Press.

Early next year, Oxford University Press will publish a major new book on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism. If you are a scholar or an avid reader of early Mormon history, you will want to own and read this compilation.

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Highlights from Mormon Studies Review, Volume 5

By December 11, 2017


The Mormon Studies Review is the best annual over view of the Mormon Studies (sub)field available anywhere. Produced by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, the journal is produced by a remarkable editorial team. You can subscribe for $10 (and you get the Maxwell Institute’s other publications, too!). I’ll highlight each contribution, and pull a sentence or two from each article to give a taste of the writing and rigor involved in each contribution. As much as the summaries, I hope that you’ll appreciate with me the myriad of approaches that could be used in Mormon History or Mormon Studies. The field, as they say, is white and ready to harvest.

First, a review panel comprised of Ann Little (a renowned women’s history specialist and microhistorian), Paul Reeve (the Simmons Professor of Mormon Studies at the University of Utah), and Sarah Carter (a historian of plural marriage outside of Mormonism) examines Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A House Full of Females.[i]  An excerpt from Little’s response sums up the book well:

Ulrich’s instinct to hew to the daily realities of mid-nineteenth-century missionary life and westward imperial expansion serves her well. The Mormons she portrays lead complicated lives—emotionally and sexually messy as well as frequently (literally) clogged with mud, dirt, and dysentery from their various removes and migrations. She focuses on the details of early Mormon life as they were revealed in diaries rather than retrospective memoirs, which brings the immediacy of their experimentation to life.

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New(!) Mormon Studies Website at the University of Virginia

By December 1, 2017


This post comes from Meredith Nelson, the webmaster of the University of Virginia’s Mormon Studies website. We hope that you will find it useful!

Kathleen Flake and the Mormon Studies Program at the University of Virginia have recently launched a new website that highlights programming, events, faculty, courses in American religious history, Professor Flake’s research, and potential research topics.

In Doing Mormon Studies, we feature a large collection of video interviews conducted by Prof. Kathleen Flake with prominent scholars in 2016. James Faulconer, Terryl Givens, Matthew Grow, Kate Holbrook, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Ann Taves, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and Grant Wacker comment on potential research topics waiting to be picked up, on their favorite personal discoveries, on Joseph Smith, on their own academic paths, and on what aspiring scholars should keep in mind.

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Call for Applications – 2018 Mormon Theology Seminar

By October 12, 2017


The Fifth Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology
“Are We Not All Beggars? Reading Mosiah 4”
Cittadella Ospitalità, Assisi, Italy
June 17–June 30, 2018

Sponsored by the Mormon Theology Seminar
in partnership with
The Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies,
The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship,
and the Wheatley Institution

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“The Heathen World and America’s Humanitarian Impulse”

By October 4, 2017


I have recently become the director of the Rocky Mountain American Religion Seminar (RMARS) at the University of Utah. As director, one of my jobs is to invite scholars to deliver public lectures at the University of Utah. Our first lecture will be delivered by Professor Kathryn Gin Lum of Stanford University. Her lecture will be held on Monday, October 16 at 2 PM in CTIHB 101 (University of Utah).

She will speak on the confluence of race, religion, and the “heathen” in American history. You can RSVP (and help spread the word) on Facebook.

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“Science vs. Dogma: Biology Challenges the LDS Paradigm” by Greg Prince, Author & Historian

By September 27, 2017


The Obert C. & Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center presents The 2017 Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion & Culture

“Science vs. Dogma: Biology Challenges the LDS Paradigm” by Greg Prince, Author & Historian

Wednesday, September 27 at 7:00 PM

Salt Lake City Public Library – Nancy Tessman Auditorium

210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City

Open to the public, no tickets required

Facebook event: https://goo.gl/4jXtP8

LIVE STREAM: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/h1ynw

 

The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah presents the 2017 Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion & Culture, “Science versus Dogma: Biology challenges the LDS Paradigm” by Gregory A. Prince, author and historian, at Salt Lake City Public Library, September 27 at 7:00 p.m.

 

Until the late 1960s, when the Stonewall Riots in New York City brought LGBT issues into the public square, the consensus among clinicians, scientists, legislators, and religious leaders was that homosexuality was either an unfortunate choice that could be unchosen, or a disease that could—and must—be cured. As the field of molecular biology matured, there was a spirited hunt for a genetic explanation for homosexuality—the “gay gene.”

 

In the short term, failure to find such a gene reinforced the “choice paradigm” of homosexuality.  However, recent research has shown that a combination of genetic and (mostly) epigenetic factors act during fetal development to imprint sexual preference and gender identity indelibly within the brain. Prince argues that the “biology paradigm” calls for a reassessment of Latter-day Saint doctrines, policies, and attitudes towards homosexuality, all of which were built on a foundation of the “choice paradigm.”

 

“Greg Prince’s unique perspective,” says Tanner Center director Bob Goldberg, “combines scientific knowledge with humanistic sensibilities.  This insures that his insights will offer new ways of understanding matters that touch us all.”

 

Prince’s lecture will be followed by a book signing hosted by the King’s English Bookshop.

 

About Gregory A. Prince

Scientific researcher and historian Gregory A. Prince earned his graduate degrees in dentistry (DDS) and pathology (PhD) at UCLA. He then pursued a four-decade career in pediatric infectious disease research. His love of history led him to write three books, including the award-winning David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Most recently, he has published Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History.

 

Very Special Thanks

 

B.W. Bastian Foundation

 

Community Partners

 

The Salt Lake City Public Library

Q Salt Lake Magazine

The King’s English Bookshop


Lecture Announcement from The Joseph Smith Papers

By September 26, 2017


Join Us for a Special Lecture

 

The Joseph Smith Papers is pleased to invite you to a special presentation in conjunction with the publication of Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. David W. Grua, coeditor of the volume, will present “‘All these things shall give thee experience’: Joseph Smith’s Liberty Jail Letters” on September 28 in Salt Lake City.


Event: “‘All these things shall give thee experience’: Joseph Smith’s Liberty Jail Letters” presented by David W. Grua
Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Assembly Hall (50 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150)

Liberty Jail is at the symbolic center of Documents, Volume 6. During the winter of 1838–1839, Joseph Smith was confined to the jail’s dungeon and separated from Latter-day Saints who were finding refuge outside of Missouri. In this time of crisis, he used letters to maintain family ties and to sustain the church. Come learn more about how the letters illuminate Joseph’s own struggle to comprehend the Saints’ afflictions and the revelations he received in the jail.

 


CFP: 2018 Regional AAR at BYU

By September 13, 2017


AAR/SBL Rocky Mountain-Great Plains Region

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah: March 16–17, 2018

Call for Papers

The Regional Program Committee invites proposals for papers and panels to be presented at the 2018 Regional Meeting in Provo, Utah. The deadline for submissions is Friday October 27 at 5:00 pm MST.

Proposals dealing with any aspect of the fields of religious studies, biblical studies, and Near Eastern studies are welcome. We seek proposals on all topics, religious traditions, historical periods, and biblical (including pseudepigraphical and deutero-canonical) texts and traditions. We welcome proposals for single papers, panels with multiple papers, or other types of sessions, such as roundtables involving structured discussions of pre-circulated questions. Proposals addressing issues such as pedagogy, instructional technology, philology, ritual, the body, religion and media, religion and politics, and current trends in the profession are also encouraged.

Proposal Requirements

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Job: Research Assistant, Joseph Smith Papers

By July 13, 2017


Research Assistant, Joseph Smith Papers (Church History Department) (Contract Worker)

 

UNITED STATES |  UT-Salt Lake City

ID 186732, Type: Full-Time – Temporary
POSTING INFO

Posting Dates: 06/23/2017 – 07/21/2017

Job Family: Administrative

Department: Church History Department

PURPOSES

The Church History Department announces an opening for a Research Assistant with the Joseph Smith Papers project. The successful candidate will assist the Joseph Smith Papers in the Publications Division of the Church History Department with historical and textual research for volumes in the Papers’ Documents series.  This is an exciting and unique opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a career in history.  We are looking for a motivated, energetic, and skilled individual to join our team! 

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Addendum to the 2018 MHA Call for Papers

By June 28, 2017


This addendum has been added to the 2018 MHA Call for Papers (original call here). Paper abstracts are still due on November 15, 2017 and the conference will still be held on June 7-10, 2018 at Boise, ID.

Since its founding in 1965, the Mormon History Association has been dedicated to the promotion of intellectually rigorous, diverse scholarship on the history of the Mormon tradition. To help us create a welcoming space that embraces work from a wide variety of methodological and religious viewpoints, we encourage individuals to organize panels for the 2018 Conference in Boise, Idaho, that include presenters from a variety of institutional, social, and religious backgrounds. The program committee will give preference to panels that reflect the diversity of the historical profession by featuring women and underrepresented minorities. [Bold added by J Stuart]

 


Job Ad: Research Assistant in the Church History Department

By June 9, 2017


Research Assistant (Contract Worker) (Church History Department)

UNITED STATES |  UT-Salt Lake City

ID 186050, Type: Full-Time – Temporary

POSTING INFO

Posting Dates: 06/08/2017 – 06/22/2017

Job Family: Administrative

Department: Church History Department
PURPOSES

This Research Assistant position will support the work of several web content projects, with oversight from the Manager and other senior writers, as well, assist in some writing projects being overseen and led by the Division’s Director.

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#MHA2017 Winners

By June 2, 2017


We would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2017 MHA awards! Please find them below:

Leonard Arrington Award:

Jill Mulvay Derr

Best Book: 

Simpson, Thomas W. American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

Best Biography: 

Prince,  Stephen L. Hosea Stout: Lawman, Legislator, Mormon DefenderLogan: Utah State University Press, 2016.

Best Book International Mormonism: 

Takagi,  Shinji. The Trek East: Mormonism Meets Japan, 1901-1968. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2016.

Best Memoir / Personal History: 

Bate, Kerry William. The Women: A Family Story. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016.

Best Article:

Hendrix-Komoto, Amanda. “Mahana, You Naked! Modesty, Sexuality, and Race in the Mormon Pacific.” In Out of Obscurity: Mormonism Since 1945, edited by Patrick Q. Mason and John G. Turner, 173?97. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Article of Excellence: 

Turley Jr. Richard E. and Jeffrey G. Cannon. “A Faithful Band: Moses Mahlangu and the First Soweto Saints.” BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2016): 9-38.

Best International Article: 

Rutherford, Taunalyn. “The Internationalization of Mormonism: Indications from India.” In Out of Obscurity: Mormonism since 1945, edited by Patrick Q. Mason and John G. Turner, 37?62. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Best Women’s History Article

Newell, Quincy. “What Jane James Saw.” In Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Patrick Q. Mason, 135?51. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2016.

Graduate Student Awards:

Best unpublished graduate student paper

Kitterman, Katherine. “‘No Ordinary Feelings’: Mormon Women’s Petitions, 1870-1886.”

Best thesis

Brumbaugh Jr., John Howard. “‘We are Entitled to, and We Must Have, Medical Care’: San Juan County’s Farm Security Administration Medical Plan, 1938-1946

Best dissertation

Smith, Christopher C. “Mormon Conquest: Whites and Natives in the Intermountain West, 1847-1851”


JIers at MHA

By May 30, 2017


Later this week bloggers associated with the Juvenile Instructor will assemble at the Mormon History Association annual conference in St. Charles, Missouri (just outside of St. Louis), a yearly highlight for us. Many of us will be participating in the program as presenters, commentators, and chairs. This post summarizes our contributions.

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JI Summer Book Club: Update

By May 19, 2017


This summer, Juvenile Instructor is hosting a series on Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s new and long-awaited book A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism. (The first two posts of the series can be found here and here.)

Many of you will have already learned the devastating news that the Ulrichs’ son Nathan, died in a plane crash in the Bahamas earlier this week, along with his girlfriend and her two sons. Out of respect for this immense loss, we will be pausing our discussion of Laurel’s book, to be resumed at a later date. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information on this hiatus.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, their friends, and loved ones at this time.


REMINDER: 2018 Church History Symposium CfP

By April 24, 2017


From the Program Committee: We are just one week away from the submission deadline for the 2018 Church History Symposium! 


2018 Church History Symposium

Business, Wealth, Enterprise, and Debt: The Economic Side of Mormon History, 1830-1930*

March 1-2, 2018

In 1958, Leonard J. Arrington published Great Basin Kingdom, a seminal study in Mormon economic history. Arrington followed this work with several other studies pertaining to the economic history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of the state of Utah. Other scholars have examined in detail financial operations of the church in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, including explorations of the law of consecration (first revealed to Joseph Smith in 1831) and its implementation, enterprises such as the United Firm and the Kirtland Safety Society, and the economic impact of creating new communities throughout the Great Basin. Picking up where Arrington and others left off, there are new and exciting developments in the study of gender, society, race, and the environment that can enlighten the financial aspects of Mormon history.

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Amici Curiae Brief by Scholars of Mormonism Opposed to Trump’s Refugee and Immigrant Ban

By April 21, 2017


If you haven’t heard already, yesterday a host of 19 scholars submitted an Amici Curiae Brief (amici curiae=friends of the court, or impartial expert advisors) in response to President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13,780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Trump’s Executive Order received a cascade of pushback and resistance, mainly criticizing that the order seems to target Muslims (just search the executive order in google news for a host of coverage). The Amici Curiae Brief picks up on this vein and presents the Mormon past with federal immigration policy as an example of how targeting religious minorities through immigration legislation can go horribly wrong.

The Brief tells the history of early Mormon persecution, and late nineteenth-century legal battles over polygamy to show that the government treated Mormons as “outsiders, not full members of the political community.” The argument and section titles are enough to give a sense of the Brief in its entirety:

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BCC Press: A Q&A for Academic Historians

By April 13, 2017


We are pleased to feature this Q&A with Steve Evans, co-founder and a co-editor at the BCC Press. Steve was gracious enough to answer a few questions for scholars for JI. You can submit a manuscript or direct further questions to the press here.You can read more about the BCC Press here and here

  1. How would peer review work for authors at the BCC Press? Historians and academics are naturally concerned about issues of tenure, CV-building, etc.

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The Third Annual JI Summer Book Club: A House Full of Females

By April 4, 2017


At a recent gathering in Cambridge, MA, Richard Bushman introduced Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to her hometown crowd as Mormonism’s most “distinguished and decorated scholar.” Her Pulitzer Prize, Bancroft Prize, and many other awards speak to her mastery of the historian’s craft in the broader academy. She is not only Mormonism’s most distinguished and decorated scholars, she is one of the most distinguished and decorated scholars alive today. Ulrich’s research and writing abilities made A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870 a natural choice for JI’s Third Annual Summer Book Club. Hundreds of readers have followed along with our book club in the past few years—we hope to read with even more of you this summer!

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Mormon Studies Publication Workshop at the John C. Danforth Center for Religion and Politics (Deadline March 27)

By March 13, 2017


Last year, Kris W. and I hosted a “Mormonism in Religious Studies” workshop at the University of Utah. We discussed religious disappointment, Mormonism and Spiritualism, failed healings, immigration, Mormon women and masonry, and other topics at length.

The workshop helped to create a sense of community among young scholars from a variety of places and disciplines while providing helpful feedback for developing projects.  As a result, we have decided to host another workshop as a pre-conference workshop at the 2017 meetings of the Mormon History Association in St. Louis, MO. The workshop, “Surveying Trends in the Field: Mormon History and Mormon Studies in the Modern Academy,” will be held on Thursday, June 1 at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis from 9 AM-5 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.

DC Logo

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CfP: 2017 Joseph Smith Papers Conference

By February 17, 2017


From our friends at the Joseph Smith Papers Project:

Call for Papers

Joseph Smith Papers Conference

October 20, 2017

In 2017, the Joseph Smith Papers Project will release volumes five and six of the Documents Series, covering major events from the life of Joseph Smith during the years 1835-1839. To celebrate the publication of these volumes, the project invites paper proposals for a conference to be held on October 20, 2017 at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. While paper proposals need not specifically be about Joseph Smith, they should draw from the corpus of his surviving documents from 1835-1839. We encourage proposals that explore the broad themes covered in these volumes, including missionaries; the role of women and gender in religious communities; religious gathering; communitarian land purchasing strategies and urban planning; frontier violence; religion and the law; and religious dissent.

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