Our friends at the John Whitmer Historical Association have published their call for their 2020 conference. You can see the original post HERE.
As pioneers and Zioneers left Nauvoo due to crushing conflict, Restoration groups in newly-created outposts struggled to build communities of worship. Did they create economic stability and refinement, or did they experience strife with competing neighbors? Perhaps the outpost provided a visionary oasis with new doctrine and ritual. How did saints returning to Nauvoo try to negotiate a peaceful existence?
Assist the Global Support and Acquisitions Division (GS&A) of the Church History Department in collecting, preserving, and sharing Church history throughout the world. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a career in history or library/archival science. We are looking for a motivated, energetic, and organized individual to join our team!
This paid internship is anticipated to last one year (12 months). This position is a part-time (28 hours per week) hourly, nonexempt position. The candidate must be currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from (within the last 12 months), an undergraduate- or graduate-degree program. Preference will be given to history/MLIS students, or those who are English majors working on an editing certificate.
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought seeks research-based
articles, personal essays, round-table discussions, fiction, art, and poetry on
Indigenous, Native, or First Nations peoples and their place in the Latter-day
Saint (or other Restoration churches) tradition. The submissions will be considered
for a special issue of the journal that will focus on this topic and related
The Book of Mormon, the foundational scripture of Joseph Smith’s movement, recounts a historical narrative about the origins of peoples in the Americas and the Church’s drive west led to numerous meetings and convergences of Indigenous peoples with diverse peoples/immigrants/migrants. The landscape was then shaped by Mormon and US Government interventions. As the Church spread globally, these encounters continued to be tinged by colonization as a geo-political force. Such encounters and narratives about indigeneity continue to define the present.
We encourage research article submissions to treat such topics as
colonialism and postcolonial studies, historical studies and enthographic
approaches, indigeneity as a category of identity, scriptural narratives, and
theological reflections, among other topics. Personal essays, art, fiction, and
poetry on these topics would ideally also wrestle with legacies of Mormonism’s
relationship to indigenous peoples as well as issues that are of contemporary
concern. We are especially interested in featuring the work of Indigenous
Joseph Smith’s attention to his own day-to-day
activities ebbed and flowed throughout his fourteen years of religious
leadership. The final three years of his life mark the high point of his
documentary record. In Documents, Volume 9 of the Joseph Smith Papers,
historians and editors Alex Smith, Christian K. Heimburger, and Christopher
Blythe provide invaluable insight and background on 102 documents created
between December 1841 and April 1842. As the editors note in their
introduction, this volume captures less than six months of Smith’s life,
“and no subsequent volume in [the Documents] series will capture more than
half a year of Smith’s activities.”
Smith created a large number of documents during this period, at least in comparison to previous times in his life, owing to several circumstances. Latter-day Saints enjoyed a season of relative peace during this time frame, which allowed for physical improvements to the city and a steady trickle of immigrants gathering to Nauvoo. Stability brought innovation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expanded its own organization, most notable among them being the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.
Many thanks to Ben Spackman for passing this on to us! His bio can be found at the bottom of this post.
We are delighted to invite you to contribute to a BYU Studies Quarterly special issue on the thoughtful integration of evolution and faith. BYU Studies publishes scholarship within a restored gospel of Jesus Christ context. Submissions are invited from all scholars who seek truth “by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118), discern the harmony between revelation and research, value both academic and spiritual inquiry, and recognize that knowledge without charity is nothing (1 Cor. 13:2).
In this special issue we seek to faithfully explore issues related to biological evolution and Latter-day Saint belief and practice. We are soliciting articles on any issues related to this topic, including but not limited to: interpretations and contexts of Genesis (including Moses and Abraham), 2 Nephi 2:22, Doctrine & Covenants 77:6–7, 101:32-34, and related passages; hermeneutical and exegetical history; Latter-day Saint intellectual history within American contexts (e.g., the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversy); historical, contextual, and intellectual factors influencing Latter-day Saint interpretations of scripture and interpretive assumptions; religious and scientific epistemologies; the historical Adam and Eve; the nature of science; misconceptions about evolution (e.g., “the Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution”); approaches to evolutionary pedagogy; how evidence of evolution does not necessarily threaten a gospel perspective; and methods for reconciliation.
We are issuing an open call for abstract submissions. If you have an idea for a manuscript that you believe would fit into this special issue, please email an abstract (1,000 words or fewer) to email@example.com by February 1, 2020.
“The Restoration and the Arts: Theory, Practice, Intersections” Brigham Young University June 8 – July 14, 2020
In the summer of 2020, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and other qualified individuals on “The Restoration and the Arts: Theory, Practice, Intersections.”
The latest issue of the Journal of Mormon History hit my
mailbox last week. As always, it’s chocked full of valuable archival-based
research and helpful book reviews. Here’s a quick overview of its contents.
Dr. Taylor Petrey was recently named editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. We are grateful he took time to answer our questions!
Taylor Petrey is Associate Professor and Religion and Chair of the Religion Department at Kalamazoo College.Dr. Petrey received his ThD and MTS from Harvard Divinity School in New Testament and Early Christianity and BA from Pace University in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He teaches courses in ancient Christianity and ancient Judaism, including the sacred texts that comprise the Bible for both traditions. His teaching and research explore the use and meaning of the Bible, early Christian thought, and the history of gender, sexuality, and kinship in Christianity.
Dialogue is a hub for Mormon Studies scholarship, events, and
news. For over 50 years, Dialogue has been the premiere journal in Mormon
Studies. It has published some of the most important articles, personal essays,
poetry, fiction, and art. Dialogue has also evolved in recent years to offer
new products. We have an excellent newsletter, podcast, and social media feeds
on Facebook and Twitter. These forms of engagement give our audience more ways
to access great commentary on the past, present, and future of the LDS
It’s hard to believe that we are only a few weeks away from
the Mormon History Association conference deadline! Anne Berryhill, our
committee, and I are anxiously awaiting when we get to look at proposals and
fully plan out the 2020 conference. I suspect that I’m preaching to the choir
when I tell blog readers that MHA is one of the best conferences out there. It’s
well-attended, features fantastic scholarship, and I always walk away feeling
academically rejuvenated. As Ben once wrote, one of the best things about MHA
is that people show up to panels. Many conferences have low session turnout,
but that’s an exception rather than the rule at MHA. I remember the first time
I presented at a national conference of another organization and feeling
disappointed that only a dozen people attended my paper. Accordingly, the
Q&A portions are also rich and engaging (although, like all conferences,
there can be some wacky questions!).
So how do you get to the point where you’re presenting at MHA?
How do you submit a paper proposal? And, ideally, how do you submit a panel
proposal? Like many things in academia, folks are often told to do something
but specific processes are not fully explained. In this post, I hope to make
the process less opaque. I will explain why you should submit to the MHA Annual
Conference, how to “read” a Call for Papers, how to write a good abstract, how
to write a paper proposal, and how to write a panel proposal. The process isn’t
complicated, but I remember well not feeling confident about sending in a
This is important to put at the beginning of the post: not
everyone is accepted to every conference to which they apply. I remember
receiving a rejection letter from MHA and wondering if that was the end of my
academic career. Thankfully, wise mentors like Ken Alford and Spencer Fluhman
told me that receiving a rejection is a part of the process. Sometimes a
proposal doesn’t “fit” with the program. “Fit” is a nebulous term, but it’s a
complicated process to balance a conference lineup with a variety of topics,
themes, formats, and so on. A rejection says nothing about your intellectual capabilities
or your place in the field of Mormon history. Everyone from Laurel Thatcher
Ulrich to the least-experienced undergraduate will face rejection in their
Should I Submit to the Mormon History Association Conference?
Conference participation is the lowest bar-to-entry into the
scholarly world (Ardis Parshall has written about MHA being “academic
vs. scholarly” here). There is room for dozens of speakers at MHA’s annual
conference, for instance, versus roughly 20 articles published per year in the Journal of Mormon History. Conferences
give you a chance to show off your research, meet with others who are
interested in Mormon history, and make connections with others.
MHA is the friendliest conference I’ve ever attended. It’s a
collegial environment with smart people who know the field. You couldn’t ask
for a better place to receive feedback on your work and sharpen your future
research and writing questions.
55th Annual Conference of the Mormon History Association will be held June 4-7, 2020, in Rochester/Palmyra, New
Make sure you can
attend the conference!
conference theme, “Visions, Restoration,
and Movements” commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mormonism’s birth in upstate New
York. Joseph Smith’s religious movement has grown from a fledgling frontier
faith to a diverse set of religious and cultural traditions functioning across
Having a paper that
addresses the theme in some way, and/or that addresses the 200th
anniversary will fit in with the conference committee’s vision for the program.
Rochester/Palmyra conference will be an opportunity to walk where Joseph Smith,
Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and other such luminaries walked, a place to be reminded of the visions,
visionaries, and movements that came out of western New York in the 19th century.
Papers that address secondary themes like suffrage
and abolition are likely to score well when the program committee reads your
Though the program
committee will consider individual papers, it will give preference to proposals
for complete sessions, whose
participants reflect MHA’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
It’s easier to be
accepted as a panel than as individual papers. Having women, people of color,
and folks from disparate institutions reflects well on your panel for several
reasons. First, it shows that you worked to find a panel that fits well
together. Second, the panel will address different topics or themes according
to different researcher’s questions.
Please send 1) a 300-word
abstract for each paper or presentation and 2) a one-page CV for each
presenter, including email contact information. Full session proposals should
include the session title and a 150-word abstract outlining the session’s
theme, along with a confirmed chair and/or commentator, if applicable.
Previously published papers are not eligible for presentation at MHA. Limited financial assistance for travel and
lodging at the conference is available to volunteers, and to some student and
international presenters. Those who wish to apply for this funding may do so upon acceptance of their proposed
The deadline for proposals is November 1, 2019. Send proposals to program co-chairs Joseph Stuart
and Anne Berryhill at firstname.lastname@example.org. Acknowledgment of receipt
will be sent immediately. Notification of acceptance/rejection will be made by January 15, 2020.
Make sure you follow directions! Write your
abstract(s), include a CV, and list chairs and commentators.
If applicable, be sure to apply for travel funding
if your paper/panel is accepted (the program committee and MHA’s executive
director won’t know how funding will work until after the committee is set).
Hit your deadlines!
Don’t expect to hear back from MHA until January
15, 2020. If you haven’t heard by January 16, 2020, THEN send a note to the
panel co-chairs’ email.
Do I Write a Quality Abstract?
Using the information above, you can now craft your abstract,
meaning your proposal with tentative ideas about your findings. You don’t have
to have your paper complete before submitting; you’ll have time to write it
afterward. Still, you should have a solid hypothesis for what you expect to
find in your archival research and perusal of the secondary literature.
Remember that you only have 20 minutes to present. Focus in
one a single idea that you hope to develop and explain to your audience. Here’s
one way to go about it (and here’s an example of mine from a previous MHA
Set the scene (who, what, when, where, why)
Briefly explain what others have said about your
topic (if they have said anything)
“Based on [primary sources, data, etc.]” or “through
an analysis of [events, persons, ideas]” I will show [argument].
Ask a friend, mentor, or colleague to take a look
at your proposal to make sure that it’s clear and concise.
Do I Submit a Paper Proposal?
Write your abstract and send to email@example.com by
11:59 PM on November 1, 2019. You’ll receive confirmation that the committee
received it—if you haven’t received one send a follow up!
Do I Form a Panel?
This can be especially daunting for new scholars or those who
haven’t previously attended MHA. You can find those who have published in your
area of interest at mormonhistory.byu.edu using a search term like “Japan” or “Book
of Mormon” or “Civil War.” You can also consult womeninmormonstudies.org or globalmormonstudies.org to find
others to team up with. Finally, this
Google Doc lists the names of those looking for panelists with their topics
and how many panelists they need and has their best mode of contact included.
Most people are flattered to be asked to join a panel.
If they are rude then you didn’t want to present with them, anyway.
Do I Submit a Panel Proposal?
Compile abstracts, cvs, and other relevant information and
send to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 11:59 PM on November 1, 2019. You’ll receive confirmation that the committee
received it—if you haven’t received one send a follow up. Also, be sure to actually
contact your chair or commentator and confirm they can take on the role. Don’t
put people forward for work they haven’t agreed to do!
The 2019 conference of the Mormon Pacific Historical Society will focus on the history of the building of temples in the Pacific by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, starting with the Laie Hawaii Temple in 1919–100 years ago. Approximately 30 presentations–5 choices per hour to choose from! Registration begins at 8 A.M. on November 16, 2019, in the Heber J. Grant Building.
Mel Johnson on JWHA CFP 2020 (St.: “This JWHA will be outstanding, maybe the best ever.
I encourage all Restoration historians and cultural studies people to attend along with their friends.
The setting at…”
Gary Bergera on George F. Richards' journals: “I remember reading through the microfilms of the Richards's journals in the mid- to late-1970s. Nothing was redacted. They were amazing.”