As most of our readers probably know, the Mormon History Association’s annual conference will be held next week in St. George, Utah. The program looks great, and a number of JIers will be presenting and participating. I look forward to hearing great papers, catching up with old friends, and hopefully making new ones. For those students who plan on being there, make sure to attend the student reception on Friday evening after the awards banquet at 9:15 pm; it’s a great place to relax and meet other young scholars studying Mormon history–plus there’s free food and door prizes.
But MHA isn’t the only conference featuring papers and panels on Mormon history this summer–a fact that bodes well for those invested in the sub-field’s future. The Fifteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women (the premier conference in that field), to be held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, June 9-12, features not one but two papers on the subject of Mormon women. Quincy Newell, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming, will present a paper entitled, “Daughters of Cain, Daughters of Zion: Black Mormon Women in the Nineteenth Century” as part of a panel on “Women, Religion and Racial Encounters: Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons in 19th- and 20th-Century America.” Meanwhile, in a separate panel on “The Politics of ‘Generations’: Religion, Labor, and Belief Practices,” Patricia D’Antonio from the University of Pennsylvania will present a paper on “Religion and Reconciliation: The Lives and Labor of the 1919 Graduates of the Latter Day Saints Hospital Training School.” Both papers sounds fascinating and each points to new directions in Mormon history.
The annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (July 14-17 in Philadelphia), meanwhile, includes a number of papers on the subject of religion in the early nineteenth century that will surely interest students of Mormon history, including one by Nathaniel Wiewora, graduate student at the University of Delaware, who will present, “A Religion Run into Madness by Zealots and Hypocrites: Anti-Mormonism and the Construction of Antebellum Evangelicalism.” I’m not sure how Nathaniel’s findings correspond with or differ from Spencer Fluhman’s research on the subject, but it looks interesting nevertheless.