MHA’s 2014 Annual Conference: A First Look

By February 19, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 18.56.49In one of the most exciting days of the year for Mormon history geeks, the Mormon History Association posted a preliminary program for the 2014 conference (pdf), which will take place June 5-8 in San Antonio, Texas. I’ll let you read through it all and find whatever niche papers you are most excited about, but below you will find the plenary addresses along with the papers being delivered by your ol’ pals here at JI.

Plenary Lectures

  • This year’s Tanner Lecture, often a highlight for the conference, will be delivered by Jehu J. Hanciles, the D.W. and Ruth Brooks Association Professor of World Christianity at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He is very, very respected in the field of global Christianity, especially the growth of Christianity in Africa. I imagine this will be a phenomenal paper.
  • JI’s good friend and frequent commenter Ignacio Garcia, specialist in Mexican-American history, will deliver an address on “Becoming Mexican American While mormon in the American City.” Anyone familiar with Ignacio and his work will know what a careful thinker he is, and that this paper will be worth attending.
  • Paula Harline, author of the forthcoming The Polygamous Wives Writing Club: From the Diaries of Mormon Pioneer Women (Oxford UP), which I’ve heard is very good, will deliver a lecture on “Running from the Law: Four Polygamous Wives on the 1880s Underground.” Polygamy is always en vogue!
  • The CHL Camelot Crew (Rick Turley, Matt Grow, and Ron Esplin) will give us our first, and long-awaited, glance at the Council of Fifty records. The long promised day has finally arrived.
  • Dick Bennett, MHA President, 2013-2014, will deliver “‘In the Upper Room’: The Fine Line Between Church and State in Salt Lake City’s Council House, 1851-1855,” as his presidential address.

JI Presenters

  • Cristine Hutchison-Jones, “‘Google It. . .’: What Can We Learn about Mormonism on the Internet”
  • Saskia Tielens, “Pinning Down Mormon Identity on the Internet: Latter-day Uses of Pinterest”
  • Edje Jeter, “Mormon Networks in Southeast and Central Texas, 1900-1940”
  • Stan Thayne, Panel on “Disrupting and Considering New Directions for Indigenous Mormon and Mormon-Indigenous Studies”
  • Natalie Rose, “Not a Popular Decision: Lenore Romney and the Equal Rights Amendment”
  • Amanda Hendrix-Komoto, “‘You Don’t Represent Hawaii’: The Politics of the Equal Rights Amendment and Mormonism in Hawaii”
  • Ryan Tobler, “The Only Way to be Saved: Early Mormonism and the Sacrament of Baptism”
  • Jonathan Stapley, “Early Baby Blessings in Mormon Liturgy, Belief, and Cosmology”
  • Brett Dowdle, “‘We Seldom Find Either Garden, Cow, or Pig’: The Changing Environments of Mormon Converts from Industrial England”
  • Kristine Wright, “‘I have Had Seasons of Being Better but Never Well’: Ritual Efficacy and Mormon Identity”
  • Andrea Radke-Moss, “‘I Hid [the Prophet] in a Corn Patch…’: Mormon Women’s Experiences in the Missouri War of 1838”
  • Robin Jensen, “‘Gather Up and Preserve a history’: Scrapbooks and the LDS Church Historian’s Office”
  • Jenny Reeder, “1880-81 Relief Society Jubilee Box: Time Capsules and Memories”

So, in case you were wondering how Mormons googled about the Equal Rights Amendment and pinned their results on Pinterest so their Texas network could see, all while preparing for a family gathering where one child is baptized and another one is blessed (though there is worry that Grandma might not recover from her sickness, though she was given a blessing) on top of their daily agricultural chores like tending the garden and picking the corn patch, we got you covered. (But don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll scrapbook it and place the records in a jubilee box.)

There are plenty of other sessions that could be highlighted. What are you most excited about?

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Thanks for the heads up, Ben. This will be the first MHA I’ll miss in nearly a decade, and now, after taking a look at all of the fascinating papers, I’m more bummed out than ever.

    I am thrilled to see JI so well represented among the roster of presenters, and hope some of those in attendance will post their thoughts on any particularly striking papers or presentations.

    Comment by Christopher — February 19, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

  2. As a Nigerian, i’m really interested in what Prof. Hanciles has to say about the history/growth of christianity in Africa. But, that’s not half as mouth-watering as taking a peep at the minute of the Council of Fifty.

    Comment by FrancisE. — February 19, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  3. A good agenda, that unfortunately, I will also miss. Good luck, JI presenters.

    Comment by kevinf — February 19, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

  4. This is my first MHA, and I’m really excited.

    Comment by Saskia — February 19, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

  5. Delighted to see Jenny R back on the lecture circuit. Just couldn’t bring myself to travel to Texas, Republic Of. I suspect that Co50 minutes will prove to be a whimper rather than a bang, but I can’t help looking forward to finally reading them. Congrats to JI crew for such a strong showing.

    Comment by smb — February 20, 2014 @ 10:13 pm


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