By March 17, 2015
On this, the anniversary of the founding of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo on March 17, 1842, I come out of a long and silent hibernation from blogging to write this, a love letter, to my Relief Society sisters, for each one of you, whether in the church or out of the church, whether fully active or barely hanging on.
By May 22, 2014
The story of Zion?s Camp has usually been told absent its female participants. In fact, it might surprise most readers that women (and children) even participated in Zion?s Camp.
By May 8, 2014
As a professor of history at a predominantly Mormon university, lately I have been a magnet for students with questions about the changes for Mormon women, especially considering the recent public attention to the roles of women in our traditional religious culture.
By September 23, 2013
To historians, collectors, and aficionados of 19th-century America, it is no surprise that the Chicago World?s Columbian Exposition, or Chicago World?s Fair of 1893 is highly popular for its abundance of collectible items still in circulation among antique dealers, collectors? sites, and Ebay, of course. Indeed, a cursory search of ?Chicago World?s Fair 1893? on Ebay brings up hundreds of items, from paper weights, silk scarves, plates, bowls, medallions, shaving cups, lamps, bookmarks, coins, spoons, Fair tickets, and every variation of printed and photographic material imaginable. One could literally lose fortune, space, and sanity to build a personal collection of World?s Fair memorabilia.
By August 17, 2013
In yesterday?s post, “Eliza R. Snow as Dorm Mother and Concert Master” here, I wrote about the challenges faced when institutions fall short of representing their female members? historical presence, and how the limited efforts of BYU and BYU-Idaho have tried to meet those challenges in sometimes interesting ways, but have often fallen short. In contrast, I have also found an example, right here in Rexburg, Idaho, of how private individuals, families, or businesses, when equipped with adequate resources and far-sighted motives, can advance the purposes of public history, choosing to represent the contributions of women and other underrepresented groups in ways that tradition-bound institutions might not.
By August 16, 2013
One trip through Rexburg, Idaho, or any amount of time spent there, reminds visitors of the methods of honoring the institutional, religious, and pioneering heritage of western settlements, in ways that often emphasize the prominence of male actors in that history, and the absence, or lesser importance, of female actors.
By April 5, 2013
This is Part One of my interview with Maxine Hanks, who edited and published her well-known feminist anthology, Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism, with Signature Books in 1992 here.
By April 4, 2013
The Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (here) is pleased to announce an Evening with the Editors and Authors of Women of Faith in the Latter Days, Volume 2, on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., at the 10th Ward Building in Salt Lake City.
Please join us for a thoughtful discussion of Mormon women’s biography, featuring editors Brittany Chapman and Rick Turley, a few featured authors of the biographies (to be announced), a brief program, refreshments, and opportunities to meet, mingle, and purchase books. For an excellent review of Women of Faith, Volume 2, see Tona’s post here, and for a discussion of the complications of using biography in Mormon women’s history, you may reread Janiece’s excellent post here.
Also, look for biographies in Volume 2 by J.I.’s own Jenny R. and Andrea R-M. Come and celebrate this excellent series!
Hope to see you there.
By December 14, 2012
“Mark what I say: the woman who quarrels with her clothes, and puts on the dress of a man, is like the man who throws off his fur gown and dresses like John the Baptist: they are followed, as surely as the night follows the day, by bands of wild women and men who refuse to wear any clothes at all.” — The Inquisitor, St. Joan (Penguin Books, 1982).
George Bernard Shaw?s interpretation of the life of Joan of Arc reminds us of an element of Joan?s influence– her straining of a woman’s role by dressing like a man– that caused such discomfort for her contemporaries and partly led to her excommunication and execution in 1431. The zealous reactions to Joan’s gendered nonconformity in the 1400s allow us to think about similar ways that modern faith communities are also stretched by challenges to their gender expectations.
By October 8, 2012
President Thomas S. Monson?s announcement in General Conference on Saturday, October 6, 2012, that young women can now serve missions at age 19 is no less than revolutionary. This move might seem like a pragmatic attempt to boost global missionary efforts. However, a brief historical overview of the last century?s changes for sister missionaries provides some useful context for how remarkable this policy really is.
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