Rachel Gross Lecture at University of Utah

By October 22, 2018


This is not strictly Mormon history related, but many who are interested in Mormon history will want to hear Dr. Gross speak. Join us!

The Rocky Mountain American Religion Seminar will host Rachel Gross on November 1, 2018 at the University of Utah. She will deliver a lecture on Genealology and American Jewish Religion. 

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Women in the Academy: Farina King

By October 22, 2018


Biography

Bilagáanaa niliigo’ dóó Kinyaa’áanii yásh’chíín. Bilagáanaa dabicheii dóó Tsinaajinii dabinálí. Ákót’éego diné asdzá̹á̹ nilí̹. Farina King is “Bilagáanaa” (Euro­American), born for “Kinyaa’áanii” (the Towering House Clan) of the Diné (Navajo). Her maternal grandfather was Euro­American, and her paternal grandfather was “Tsinaajinii” (Black­streaked Woods People Clan) of the Diné. She is Assistant Professor of History and an affiliate of the Cherokee and Indigenous Studies Department at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She received her Ph.D. in History at Arizona State University.

She was the 2016-2017 David J. Weber Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America at the Clements Centers for Southwest Studies of Southern Methodist University. She was the 2015­2016 Charles Eastman Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College. She received her M.A. in African History from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. from Brigham Young University with a double major in History and French Studies. Her main area of research is colonial and post­colonial Indigenous Studies, primarily Indigenous experiences of colonial and boarding school education. Her first book was published by the University Press of Kansas, in October 2018, which is titled The Earth Memory Compass: Diné Landscapes and Education in the Twentieth Century. In this book, she explores how historical changes in education shaped Diné collective identity and community by examining the interconnections between Navajo students, their people, and Diné Bikéyah (Navajo lands). The study relies on Diné historical frameworks, mappings of the world, and the Four Sacred Directions.

Courtesy farinaking.com

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From the Archives: Leonard Arrington on the Most Needed Studies in Mormon History

By October 17, 2018


This list comes from the Leonard Arrington Papers at Utah State University. It’s fascinating to see how far the historical professions has gone–can you imagine writing a thesis or dissertation on the LDS Church in all of South America(!!)? It’s amazing to see how specialized things have become, but also how Mormon the theses are. I’m not sure that writing something on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, without using it as a lens to examine something else, would be encouraged today for aspiring academics.

HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

TWENTY-SIX MOST URGENTLY NEEDED THESES IN LDS CHURCH HISTORY

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Seminar Workshop Hosted by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University (June 3-5, 2019 )

By October 16, 2018


In the last decades of the twentieth century, New Western historians grappled with conceptions of the “Modern” West, encouraging scholars to investigate the region’s history up to the present. They held debates, panels, and conferences on modern American West topics to discuss their findings and publish them in articles, anthologies, and monographs. Several decades have elapsed since those shockable discussions and path-breaking publications appeared. In the interceding decades, the region has continued to evolve. It is time for Western scholars to gather again and consider how the “Modern” West has changed in the 21st century.

To facilitate this effort, the Charles a Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University will host a workshop seminar (tentatively scheduled) on June 3-5, 2019 entitled “New Modern Histories of the 21st Century West.” We solicit proposals from historians and scholars who will author article-length essays and gather at BYU campus to workshop them together. Those essays will subsequently be edited and published as an anthology. All historical sub fields are welcome. The geographic scope of the “Modern West” is broadly defined to include the western states and provinces of the United States and Canada, adjacent borderlands, and areas such as Alaska, Hawai’i.   

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Review: Stone, William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature 2018)

By October 15, 2018


Christopher James Blythe is a Research Associate in Book of Mormon Studies at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute of Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He is a documentary editor/historian for Joseph Smith Papers: Documents, Vols. 7, 9, and 12. Blythe is also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Mormon History.

Daniel Stone’s William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet is a biography of a significant nineteenth century Latter Day Saint “prophet, seer, and revelator.” It is largely a religious story, as much about the founding of a church, the Church of Jesus Christ, as it is the life of a man. One of Signature Books’ most significant contributions to the field of Mormon Studies has been its publication of scholarship on non-LDS Restoration traditions. Previous examples have included Vickie Cleverley Speek’s “God Has Made Us a Kingdom”: James Strang and the Midwest Mormons (2006), Will Shepard and H. Michael Marquardt’s Lost Apostles: Forgotten Members of Mormonism’s Original Quorum of the Twelve (2014), Richard S. Van Wagoner’s Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess (1994), and Victoria D. Burgess’s The Midwife: A Biography of Laurine Ekstrom Kingston (2012). These well-researched studies have added to our knowledge of fascinating but (unfortunately) obscure communities and individuals. Stone’s volume rightfully belongs on this list and admirably fills out some of the gaps in our collective knowledge. This volume is particularly significant as the first full-length academic study written by a Bickertonite scholar with interested outsiders in mind. It is exciting to see the contingent of Mormon Studies scholars whose numbers largely consist of LDS and Community of Christ scholars (with the occasional Strangite and Fundamentalist) add another unique voice to the conversation.

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Janiece Johnson on the Book of Mormon

By October 11, 2018


There’s been a recent turn in book history. Early historians and scholars of the book looked to the way printed textual media was accomplished. But then scholars began to analyze the life-cycle of the book. Books are, after all, written by authors, printed by printers, sold by colporteurs, and read by readers. This approach to the book as artifact illustrates how each group interacts with books and the book trade. More recently, scholars have looked to the ways each individual involved in the book trade reflects and shapes the culture that produced it. Book history thus has become a study of culture.[1]

Unfortunately, Mormon history rarely attracts historians of the Book. Peter Crawley, David Whittaker, and Paul C. Gutjahr are the major exceptions to a relative anemic output of scholarship relating to the study of Latter-day Saint culture and the printed word it produced. Janiece Johnson’s recent article, “Becoming a People of the Books: Toward an Understanding of Early Mormon Converts and the New Word of the Lord,” published in the latest Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, is a breath of fresh air. Johnson’s article adds a corrective of the Book of Mormon’s place within the church. For those who want to argue that the Book of Mormon was rarely read, cited, or that it was simply a sign of Joseph Smith’s prophetic call, Johnson shows just how quickly and effectively the Book of Mormon seeped into the growing culture of the church.

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Forgotten Articles on Mormonism’s Temple and Priesthood Restriction

By October 9, 2018


 

I’ve recently begun reading every academic or quasi-academic article on the history of the LDS Church’s research restriction as a part of my work on the Century of Black Mormons Project and my own research on the history of Mormonism and race. I’m learning a lot about the ways that the restriction has been framed, how white academics wrote about the history of Black people in Mormonism, and am formulating bigger research questions on secularism, modernity, and authority. More on those topics another day, or in my dissertation.

As I’ve read more than 200 secondary sources now, I wanted to share  articles, books, and book chapters that I don’t think receive enough attention. Please share your favorite articles are in the comments. Please also be sure to check out the Century of Black Mormons website to read more about the lives of individual Latter-day Saints of African descent.

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CFP: Decentered Mormonism: Assessing 180 Years of International Expansion

By October 8, 2018


Thanks to friend of JI, Carter Charles, for sending this:

Following a pattern of itinerant preachers, inherited from the Second Great Awakening context from which their religion emerged, and from New Testament proselytes, Mormon missionaries began as early as June 1830 to go on missions. First, they traveled within the United States and Canada; then, looking beyond North America, they began to take their religion across the world starting with a mission to England as early as 1837.

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Research Grants for Global Mormon Studies Projects

By October 7, 2018


Thanks to Caroline Kline, Research Assistant Professor at Claremont Graduate University for passing this along to us!

The Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University is now funding research grants for people studying global Mormonism.

While they will be accepting proposals for the next few months, they will be giving preference to proposals we receive by the end of October. Our hope is to see significant progress on funded projects by April 2019. We are interested in helping to fund projects that are already underway, as well as new projects.

Please see the call for proposals HERE, and contact Caroline if you have any questions.


Highlights from the Journal of Mormon History 44, no. 4

By September 27, 2018


The latest issue of the Journal of Mormon History arrived in my mailbox this week and, I am pleased to say, is a very strong issue. Below is a brief summary of the articles and a list of book reviews. You can submit your article manuscript to the Journal of Mormon History HERE.

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Recent Comments

Courtney JP on Review: Stone, William Bickerton:: “Thanks for the detailed and informative review. It is great to see the growing research and publications into other Mormon traditions. I look forward to…”


J Stuart on Review: Stone, William Bickerton:: “Thanks, Chris, for the review. Very interested to get to the book!”


David G. on Review: Stone, William Bickerton:: “Thanks for the review, Chris! I have yet to read the book, but I heard Daniel respond to an Author Meets Critics panel at JWHA…”


J Stuart on Janiece Johnson on the: “Thanks, Robin. I love how Janiece mixes reception history and lived religion methodologies.”


David G. on Janiece Johnson on the: “Thanks for the overview, Robin. Agreed, it's a great article that lays out important questions and possibilities.”


Daniel Stone on Janiece Johnson on the: “Awesome review Robin and great points. This article looks fascinating!”

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