Another year, another excellent year for Mormon history and Mormon studies publications! Traditional categories, like biography and primary source collections, continue to see strong publications and newer methodological innovations written within interdisciplinary fields are showcasing their value to the field. While there’s no way to include every single publication, these are the thirty or so that I believe will be most important to the field in the future. What did I get wrong? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!
- Rebecca de Schweinitz, “There is no Equality’: William E. Berrett, BYU, and Healing the Wounds of Racism in the Latter-day Saint Past and Present,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Fall 2019): 59-84.
- Judith L. Weisenfeld, “Framing the Nation: Religion, Film, and American Belonging,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 2 (April 2019): 23-48.
- Christopher Cannon Jones and Rachel Felt, “The Religion is Assailed by Most in the Country’: A Letter from the First Latter-day Saint Converts in Jamaica,” Mormon Historical Studies 20, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 111-127.
De Schweinitz’s article examines race within a Latter-day Saint context while Weisenfeld’s analyzes how Mormons were portrayed in early twentieth-century film. Each publication displays the value of speaking to Mormon history as its own field and using Mormonism to speak to broader fields, such as American religious history and American film history. Jones’ and Felt’s article brings Mormon history within Caribbean history’s transnational and trans-empire scholarship. I can’t wait to see what comes of their further research.
GENDER AND SEXUALITY
- William P. Connors, “Missionaries to the Mormons: NOW’s ERA Missionary Project,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 4 (October 2019): 105-132.
- Cristina Rosetti, “Further Light Pertaining to Celestial marriage”: The Law of Purity and Twentieth-Century Mormon Fundamentalist Discourse on Sexuality,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 33 (July 2019): 111-132.
- Wilfried Decoo and Ellen Decoo, “De visie op homoseksualiteit bij mormonen: verkenning in een historisch-sociologisch kader,” Religie & samenleving.-Delft 14, no. 3 (2019): 244-271.
- Sarah M.S. Pearsall, Polygamy: An Early American History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019).
Missionaries visiting Utah to spread the “good news” of the ERA? A look at non-Latter-day Saint history on sexuality? Please and thank you. A Dutch article on Mormons and homosexuality? Sarah Pearsall on non-Mormon (and Mormon) polygamists in early America? SIGN ME UP.
- Alexander L. Baugh, “We have a Company of Danites in these Times’: The Danites, Joseph Smith, and the 1838 Missouri-Mormon Conflict,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 33 (July 2019): 1-25.
- Patrick Q. Mason, “When I think of War I Am Sick at Heart’: Latter Day Saint Nonparticipation in World War I,” Journal of Mormon History 45, no. 2 (April 2019): 1-21.
- Andrea Radke-Moss, “Women and Gender,” in Matthew L. Harris, ed., Thunder From the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019), 178-207.
- Patrick Q. Mason, Mormonism and Violence: The Battles of Zion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
All three authors examine different time periods, but their work highlights broader themes within the field. Baugh digs deep into the historiography and primary sources surrounding the Danites, debunking several myths along the way. Mason’s research into those who did not fight for any nation in the First World War highlights the limits of Mormon adoption of nationalism, so far as military service are concerned.
Radke-Moss’s article stuck with me more than any other article this year. Part of that is due, at least in part, because her research overlaps with my interests in Mormonism during the Cold War. The lion’s share is due to her exceptional writing, dogged archival research, and ability to use small details to highlight important historical moments. I expect her chapter to be a top consideration for Best Article at MHA.
Mason’s work on pacifism and non-violence in JMH is featured above; readers shouldn’t miss his book length treatment (or future book-length treatments!)
INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES AND APPROACHES
- Peter Coviello, Make Yourself Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).
- Brenda R. Weber, Latter-day Screens: Gender, Sexuality, and Mediated Mormonism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019).
- David Walker, Railroading Religion: Mormons, Tourists, and the Corporate Spirit of the West (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019).
- Jake Johnson, Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019).
- Konden Smith Hansen, Frontier Religion: Mormons in America, 1857-1907 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).
- W.E.A. van Beek, “Banned Ritual: Ritual Abscences in Mormon Weddings,” in Absent Ritual: Exploring the Ambivalence and Dynamics of Ritual(Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2019).
- Quincy D. Newell, Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- Richard E. Turley and Clinton D. Christensen, An Apostolic Journey: Stephen L. Richards and the Expansion of Missionary Work in South America (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2019).
- Gordon Shepherd and Gary Shepherd, Jan Shipps: A Social and Intellectual Portrait: How a Methodist Girl from Hueytown, Alabama, Became an Acclaimed Mormon Studies Scholar (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2019).
- Melvin C. Johnson, Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2019).
- Gregory A. Prince, Gay Rights and the Mormon Church: Intended Actions, Unintended Consequences (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).
- Jana Riess, The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- Craig L. Foster and Marianne T. Watson,
American Polygamy A History of Fundamentalist Mormon Faith (Charleston, SC: History Press, 2019).
ANALYSES OF LATTER-DAY SAINT SCRIPTURE
- Terryl Givens and Brian Hauglid, The Pearl of Greatest Price: Mormonism’s Most Controversial Scripture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- Steven C. Harper, First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- Don Bradley, The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2019).
GLOBAL MORMON STUDIES
- Kim Östman, Mormonit: Historia, oppi ja elämä” [The Mormons: History, Doctrine, and Life] (Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 2019). The first peer-reviewed introduction to Mormonism and Mormon Studies in Finnish!
- Carter Charles and Pierre Vendassi, “Église de Jésus-Christ des Saints des derniers jours,” in Lesminorités religieuses en France (Minority Religions in France), eds., Anne-Laure Zwilling at al. (Paris: Editions Bayard, 2019), 1182-1200.
- P. Jane Hafen and Brenden W. Rensink, Essays on American Indian and Mormon History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).
- Jedediah S. Rogers and Matthew C. Godfrey, eds., The Earth Shall Appear as the Garden of Eden: Essays on Mormon Environmental History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).
- Matthew L. Harris, ed., Thunder From the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2019).
- Matthew C. Godfrey and Michael Hubbard MacKay, Business and Religion: The Intersection of Faith and Finance (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2019).
- Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman, eds., Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- Irén E. Annus, David M. Morris, Kim B. Östman, eds, Mormonism in Europe: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Szeged, 2019). FREE DOWNLOAD
- Michael Hubbard MacKay and William G. Hartley, The Rise of the Latter-day Saints: The Journals and Histories of Newel Knight (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2019).
- Harvard S. Heath, Confidence Amid Change: The Presidential Diaries of David O. McKay, 1951-1970 (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2019).
- Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, Brent M. Rogers, Mason K. Allred, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, and Brett D. Dowdle, eds. The Joseph Smith Papers Documents, Volume 8: February-November 1841 (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2019).
- Alex D. Smith, Christian K. Heimburger, and Christopher J. Blythe, eds., The Joseph Smith Papers Documents, Volume 9: December 1841-April 1842 (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2019).
- Craig S. Smith, ed., The Selected Letters of Juanita Brooks (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019).
- Aaron McArthur and Reid L. Neilson, The Annals of the Southern Mission: A Record of the History of the Settlement of Southern Utah (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2019).
- Christopher James Blythe, “Brigham Young’s Newly Located February 1874 Revelation,” BYU Studies 58, no. 2 (2019): 173-177.