By September 9, 2019
Gina Colvin and Joanna Brooks provide an important intervention into the field of Mormon studies with their edited volume of essays by thirteen scholars. The authors in Decolonizing Mormonism show the power dynamics that become visible by looking at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a global lens. By viewing Mormonism from the margins, these scholars argue, it is possible to see the colonial history and structures within the LDS tradition. Colvin and Brooks are not just interested in producing scholarship to observe these dynamics. They also call for change, saying that the metropole needs to listen to these voices forgotten both by the institutional church and by Mormon studies scholars. These authors argue that the margins provide the answers to decolonize both the church and scholarship and bring Zion into existence. This is not just an historical text. The intent of this book is to challenge the stories often reflected in Mormon history, arguing that scholars can no longer be complacent in the continued narratives of colonization.
By July 8, 2019
This post will focus on digitized periodicals and publications available through Utah archives related to Mormon history. All of these sources are very helpful for doing research, both in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in particular has a rich history of magazines, though many of these magazines ended in 1970 with the push towards correlation and consolidation. Even though this post is focused on publications, I will also include a few other helpful links and materials. Before I get going, I want to express my gratitude to all the archivists and employees at so many archives who worked to make this material available. These are such rich sources, and being able to access so many remotely is just awesome. And it wouldn’t be possible without all the labor these people put in.
By January 30, 2019
A reminder that nominations for this year’s Mormon History Association’s annual awards are due on Feb. 1, 2019. MHA accepts submissions for any high-quality work published in 2018. There are awards for books, articles, and graduate student work. See details for the submissions process and categories on the Mormon History Association website. Details for submission can be found at the website linked here.
By January 15, 2019
The Juvenile Instructor is conducting a roundtable this month on Colleen McDannell’s Sister Saints: Mormon Women Since the End of Polygamy, recently published by Oxford University Press. Follow along here at the blog as contributors explore different themes within McDannell’s book.
By July 26, 2018
This is the fifth installment in the JI’s fourth annual summer book club. This year we are reading Jared Farmer’s On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Harvard UP, 2008). Check back every Thursday for the week’s installment. Please follow the JI on your social media of choice.
In chapter 5 of his book, Farmer continues to look at the mountains, analyzing hiking and the promotion of alpine play. Hiking Mount Timpanogos became a large community event in the first half of the twentieth century. As Farmer says, “the mountain had become known for being known, loved for being loved, hiked for being hiked.” (175)
By July 17, 2018
This post is part of our ongoing series on the George Q. Cannon diaries, which are now published on the Church Historian’s Press website.
The George Q. Cannon journals provide insights into Mormon conceptions of race in the nineteenth century. Cannon had a long tenure in the Quorum of the Twelve, as a counselor to different church presidents, and extensive involvement in writing and publishing. Because of this participation in church leadership and publication, Cannon’s writings show how church leaders conceived of race as the church changed and expanded during the nineteenth century. I will give a few examples here of instances in his journal where he discusses racial ideologies, but there are many more.
By June 18, 2018
Hokulani K. Aikau’s book, A Chosen People, A Promised Land, published in 2012, is an important work on Mormonism in the Pacific, addressing the colonial legacy of the church and its racial ideologies. Back in 2013 here on this blog, Aikau’s work was listed as an important work in Mormon history and the history of indigenous peoples. But the Juvenile Instructor blog has never had a full review of Aikau’s book published. In order to fix this error, this post includes a portion of my review of Aikau’s book that was just published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Mormon History.
By May 17, 2018
The LDS Church recently announced that it will be severing its ties with the Boy Scouts of America and is creating a new program for all the children and youth in the Church. With this announcement, there have been discussions (here and here) about what these changes could mean for the youth programs in the Church, particularly for young women. Knowing the history of the LDS youth programs for the past one hundred years can help put all of these recent announcements in perspective.
By May 3, 2018
The Western History Association is pleased to accept applications for the WHA Graduate Student Prize. Inaugurated in 2014, the prize is designed to foster graduate student professional development and to enhance collegial citizenship within the organization. Up to ten students may receive the award. Each recipient will receive: a one-year WHA Membership, complimentary conference registration and tickets to the Welcoming Reception and Graduate Student Reception, and three nights of lodging in the conference hotel.
Prize Responsibilities: Prize winners must attend the WHA conference in the award year. The WHA Graduate Student Prize may be held concurrently with other WHA graduate student awards. WHA Graduate Student Prize winners are expected to be active in the organization through service on WHA committees and/or through participation in annual conference events and attendance at conference sessions. In addition, WHA Graduate Student Prize winners will act as co-hosts of the Graduate Student Reception each year.
More importantly, each WHA Graduate Student Prize winner must submit a two-page post-conference report to the WHA no later than December 31 of the award year. Details on report requirements will be included with the award letter.
By April 9, 2018
UC Press is making its articles free for April 2018. Included in its journals is Religion and American Culture. Here is a list of articles in R&AC on Mormonism. Follow the links to download them through the end of the month.
James Bennett, “Until this Curse of Polygamy is Wiped Out”: Black Methodists, White Mormons, and Constructions of Racial Identity in the Late Nineteenth Century
Matthew Bowman, Sin, Spirituality, and Primitivism: The Theologies of the American Social Gospel, 1885?1917
Eric A. Eliason, Curious Gentiles and Representational Authority in the City of the Saints
Kathleen Flake, Ordering Antinomy: An Analysis of Early Mormonism’s Priestly Offices, Councils and Kinship
Kathleen Flake, Re-placing Memory: Latter-day Saint Use of Historical Monuments and Narrative in the Early Twentieth Century
Stephen J. Fleming, “Congenial to Almost Every Shade of Radicalism”: The Delaware Valley and the Success of Early Mormonism
Terryl L. Givens, Kathryn Lofton, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, and Patrick Q. Mason discussed Mormonism in this 2013 Forum.
Steven C. Harper, Infallible Proofs, Both Human and Divine: The Persuasiveness of Mormonism for Early Converts
Thomas W. Simpson, The Death of Mormon Separatism in American Universities, 1877?1896
Stephen Taysom, “Satan Mourns Naked upon the Earth”: Locating Mormon Possession and Exorcism Rituals in the American Religious Landscape, 1830-1977. This article pairs well with the podcast that Taysom did with the Maxwell Institute.