Kurt Manwaring has published an interview with historian Ignacio Garcia over on his site, From the Desk. Garcia earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Arizona and is Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western & Latino History at Brigham Young University and is President Elect of the Mormon History Association. An excerpt from Manwaring’s site is posted below; click over to From the Desk to read the rest!
What are the most important changes MHA has made in the past decade and where do you hope to see the organization 10 years from now? What factors most influence the organization’s ability to realize the progress you envision?
While I’m not as versed on the development of MHA, in the last decade I have seen a marked improvement on the quantity and the continued quality of the scholarship. International scholars as a group have also increased in numbers and the topics have become much diverse. The number of women scholars has increased dramatically, and their scholarship has immensely raised the scholarship bar for the organization.
The next goal and one that will help keep it vibrant and growing is increasing the number of scholars both of color and of international perspective . MHA must be an inclusive organization and one that attracts and works with scholars around the globe.
To that end and through the leadership of our current president, Paul Reeve, our Executive Director Barbara Brown and our board, we have created a global outreach slot on the MHA board and we are working to connect with various Mormon studies organizations around the globe.
Of course, all of that can only be accomplished if more and more scholars see Mormon history as a legitimate field of study.
One last point on this topic: I really believe that our horizon will expand as we get our current membership to see their work through a global perspective, and to that end we hope to have some workshops and roundtables deal with that perspective in the Rochester/Palmyra conference.