Section

Scholarly Inquiry

Developing Historical Methods

By September 6, 2011


This morning was the initial class in the historical methods course I teach, made up of undergraduate history majors/minors. It will be an interesting mix this term; some are double majors with education heading for public school classrooms, and I have a handful of students with plans to go to graduate school in history. A few are older than traditional college age. I can already sense that this will be a good group for discussions, that’s a good sign.

My Day One activity looks like this: divide the class into three groups (I have about 15 students in the class; if it were going to be bigger, I’d create more groups). One group has people who have brought laptops to class. I give each group a set of documents or artifacts and a series of questions to start them off, and then I stand back and observe for about half an hour. I’m looking to see how they approach an unfamiliar set of sources, and I’m trying to get to know them as learners. What kinds of questions do they ask? How do they begin to make sense of what’s in front of them? Who emerges as a natural leader? How well are they listening to each other’s ideas?

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Patrick Mason answers your questions

By March 24, 2011


Thanks to Matt and everyone at JI for this opportunity.

For those of us who are interested in Mormon history, particularly in graduate school or the early years of our academic careers, the question of how to position oneself is always a vexed one. I was one who very consciously did NOT want to write a “Mormon dissertation.” That’s why I chose a comparative topic: violence against religious minority groups in the postbellum South. Mormons were one of these groups, but at the time of my dissertation proposal I thought they would represent only a minor aspect of the study. I was as surprised as anyone when they turned out to be the best part of the story, and got twice the coverage in the dissertation and eventually became the centerpiece of my book.

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Scholarly Inquiry: Patrick Mason

By March 11, 2011


Our next Scholarly Inquiry will be with Patrick Mason, who will in the fall assume the Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University. We invite you to submit questions for Patrick – on his research, present and past, on his work at Notre Dame, and of course, on the Hunter Chair, below; answers will soon be forthcoming.

Patrick Mason is currently Research Associate Professor at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and Associate Director for Research of a multi-year research initiative called “Contending Modernities: Catholic, Muslim, Secular.” In the fall he will assume his new duties as Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Patrick earned his BA in history at BYU and MA degrees in history and peace studies at Notre Dame, where he also earned his PhD in history, for which he wrote his dissertation, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Mob: Violence against Religious Outsiders in the U.S. South, 1865-1910.” From 2007-2009 he was Assistant Professor of History and Associate Director of the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University in Cairo.

His new book is The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011). He has also published articles on topics including the history of Utah state legislation against interracial marriage, anti-Jewish violence in the South, the role of religion in the African American protest tradition, the possibilities of Mormon peacebuilding, and most recently on theodemocracy in 19th-century Mormonism.


Q&A with Stephen C. Taysom, author of Shakers, Mormons and Religious Worlds: conflicting visions, contested boundaries (part II)

By December 9, 2010


Below is part II of our q&a with Stephen C. Taysom.

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Q&A with Stephen C. Taysom, author of Shakers, Mormons and Religious Worlds: conflicting visions, contested boundaries (part I)

By December 7, 2010


Over the past two months, Matt Bowman and Steve Taysom have had an ongoing dialogue about Taysom’s new book, in part in response to your questions.  Part I is below; part II will come Thursday.

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Scholarly Inquiry: Mark Staker Answers Your Questions

By March 31, 2010


We’d like to give Mark Staker a big thank you for participating. He elected to answer all the questions posed in the solicitation. Here we go:

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Thank you for the questions. They are all good questions and I’ve elected to give a stab at trying to answer them all.

Question 1

Many people assume that Joseph Smith basically took a back seat behind Sidney Rigdon during the first decade of the Church; that it wasn’t until after Liberty Jail and in the Nauvoo period that he really took the prominent public position as the face of the movement. By this, I mean being the chief expositor, giving many of the important public discourses, etc. Does your research on Kirtland confirm or challenge this idea?

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[Last Call For Questions] Scholarly Inquiry: Soliciting Questions for Mark Staker

By March 26, 2010


The JI is pleased to welcome Mark Staker as the newest participant in the Scholarly Inquiry series. Mark, of course, is the author of the recently released Hearken O Ye People: The Historical Setting for Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations published by Kofford Books (see the table of contents and section overviews at Mark’s Hearken O Ye People blog).

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Scholarly Inquiry: Mark Ashurt-McGee Responds to Your Questions

By November 14, 2009


Nearly six months ago, we announced the creation of what he hoped would (and still plan to) become a regular feature here at the Juvenile Instructor. As we announced then,

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Scholarly Inquiry: Introducing a New Series at JI and our First Guest, Mark Ashurst-McGee

By June 8, 2009


The Juvenile Instructor is pleased to announce a new series that will become a regular feature of the blog. The series—Scholarly Inquiry—will consist of a series of questions addressed to a guest scholar and that person’s responses. Visiting scholars will include both Mormons and those from other faith traditions, as well as historians of Mormonism and those whose primary research interests focus on other subjects. The aim of Scholarly Inquiry is to involve a larger community of scholars in attempts to situate the Mormon experience in wider contexts and new and innovative ways.

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