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Job Ad: Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer

By October 26, 2015

We’d like to make our readers aware of an exciting new opportunity: the University of Virginia posted an ad for a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Mormon Studies.

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JI Summer Book Club: Rough Stone Rolling, Part 5: Chapters 10-12

By June 8, 2015

This is the fifth installment of the first annual JI Summer Book Club. This year we are reading Richard Bushman?s landmark biography of Mormonism?s founder, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). JI bloggers will be covering small chunks of the book in successive weeks through the summer, with new posts appearing Monday mornings. We invite anyone and everyone interested to read along and to use the comment sections on each post to share your own reflections and questions. There are discussion questions below.


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Review: David Conley Nelson’s Moroni and the Swastika

By April 16, 2015

MoroniDavid Conley Nelson, Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany. University of Oklahoma Press, 2015.

David Conley Nelson’s book centers on a bold premise: that Mormonism in Germany did not only survive WWII relatively unscathed, but actually benefited from it. Nelson, who has a PhD in history from Texas A&M University, asserts that the church, helped by faithful historians, is invested in promoting a picture of German Mormons as suffering for the sake of the gospel. However, a more accurate picture would be that “German Mormons and their prewar American missionaries avoided persecution by skillfully collaborating to a degree that ensured their survival but did not subject them to postwar retribution” (xvi). Throughout the book, Nelson uses the rhetorical devices of ‘memory beacons’ and ‘dimmer switches’ to illustrate the construction of memory sites, and the ways in which realities of collaboration, then, were transformed into memories of appeasement and survival.

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Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup

By April 12, 2015

This week, I have for your perusal:

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Understanding RLDS History: A Resource List

By February 16, 2015

In January, JI got an email asking for a post highlighting the “essential” books to understanding the history of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints/Community of Christ. We reached out to David Howlett, author of The Kirtland Temple: The Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space (University of Illinois Press, 2014), and visiting assistant professor at Skidmore College. David’s book is well worth your time, and I urge you all to read it. He graciously provided us with a list of five essential books for any readers interested in RLDS/Community of Christ history.

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Review: Craig Harline’s Way Below the Angels

By January 28, 2015

Harline, Craig. Way Below the Angels: The Pretty Clearly Troubled But Not Even Close to Tragic Confessions of a Real Life Mormon Missionary. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2014.

Craig Harline, professor of European History at BYU, wrote a missionary memoir about his time spent serving in Belgium. As its title suggests, this is not a typical memoir of perseverance and triumph. No, instead Way Below the Angels: The Pretty Clearly Troubled but Not Even Close to Tragic Confessions of a Real Live Mormon Missionary chronicles his time as Elder Harline in a real, self-deprecating, and occasionally raw manner.

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JI on Polygamy

By October 25, 2014

On Wednesday, we here at JI declared we were happy to (try to) answer any questions about polygamy people may have, in response to the Church publishing two more essays on the topic. In preparation for that post (or several posts) next week, I’ve hunted through the archives to find older posts on the subject. (Warning, there are a lot.) I’ve tried to group them thematically here below.

LDS responses to anti-polygamy legislation

Responses: Patrick Mason on David Pulsipher on Mormon Civil Disobedience

Joseph H. Dean and Joseph F. Smith on Mexico/Polygamy

The Manifesto and post-Manifesto polygamy

A Review of Lu Ann Faylor Snyder and Phillip A. Snyder, eds., Post Manifesto Polygamy: The 1899-1904 Correspondence of Helen, Owen, and Avery Woodruff (and another review here)

Wasted Seed and Spent Men: Corinne Allen Tuckerman and the Politics of Polygamy after 1890

Reading Like a Conspiracy Theorist, Part 1: A Post-Manifesto Polygamist?s Diary, Part 2: The Case for Polygamy, Part 3: Quinn and Hardy

Quantifying Polygamy

From the Archives: Joseph Smith III Congratulates Wilford Woodruff on the Manifesto

Remembering polygamy

From Embrace to Embarrassment: Remembering Joseph Smith?s Polygamy

Peculiar Questions Briefly Answered: Charles W. Penrose on Polygamy, Etc.

?Plurality of Wives was an Incident, Never an Essential?: James E. Talmage on Polygamy

Mormon Folklore, Part Two (Polygamy)

Susa Young Gates, Juanita Brooks, and Plural Marriage: Situating the Legacy of Polygamy in the 1920s and 1930s

Celestial Polygamy is Inevitable

Grub Street History: Peggy Fletcher Stack and The Polygamies of Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs

The Perspectives on Parley Pratt?s Autobiography: BiV on ?Conjugal Relations of Parley P. Pratt as Portrayed in his Autobiography?

Women and the Manifesto: Painting with Broad Strokes

Specific Polygamous Relationships

Helen Mar Kimball blessing and the dating of her marriage to Joseph Smith

Hannah Tapfield King?s Introduction to Polygamy and Hannah Tapfield King, Gendered History, and Class

Movie Review: Emma Smith: A Really Great Catch and Emma Smith Movie, Again

 Polygamy and gender

?The cheerless, crushed and unwomanly mothers of polygamy?

?Either a misogynist or proto-feminist?: Women and Polygamy in John Turner?s ?Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet?

Passionate Stability: Polygamy, Dating, and the Creation of Modern Mormon Gender

Thoughts on Polyandry

Polygamy and race

Black Methodists, White Mormons: Race and Antipolygamy

?Prelude to American Imperialism?: Mormon Polygamy, Natural Law, and Whiteness

?A situation worse than polygamy?: Mormon Missionaries, ?Mulattos?, and Defending the Faith in North Carolina, 1900


When Did Mormons Become Straight: The Intersections of Mormon History and Queer Theory

Spatial Dynamics and Polygamous Burial Practices

Notes from the Utah State Historical Society?s 56th Annual Conference, Part 2: Polygamy

From the Archives: ?Polygamy?is Conducive to Health, Ingelligence, and Longevity?, An 1885 Letter of George Reynolds on Ebay

Mormon Studies Weekly Roundup

By September 21, 2014

Let’s dive right in:

First things first: the Church History department is now on Tumblr! I’ve already added it to my blog roll and look forward to more fun and informative posts.

Then, a Trib article on the (presumed) relationship between Mormons and the GOP, and a Huffington Post article on Mormons, social media, and progressive activism.

And because this post deserved another link, and these are words I never thought I’d read in one sentence, “Polygamist women in ninja costumes” involved in nefarious activity. See KUTV for more details on what is a funny headline for a sad story.

Lastly, a reminder that the deadline for this year’s Mormon History Association is coming up! All submissions are due October 1. You can find the CFP here.

Feel free to add your links in the comments!



five reasons to visit the Church History Museum

By September 19, 2014

1. There’s something for everyone: exhibits on Relief Society history, Presidents of the Church, Book of Mormon Fiesta…

2. One exhibit, “Practicing Charity: Everyday Daughters of God,” features some striking art about the breadth and depth of womanhood and charity. Regular JI readers might remember this post, in which curator Lauren Allred Hurtado introduced the exhibit. (Not in Utah? You can see an online version of the exhibit here.)

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MSWR – July 20

By July 20, 2014

For your Sunday perusal:

Our own Amanda Hendrix-Komoto writes about the excommunication of Kate Kelly (and Mormon feminism?) on the Nursing Clio blog.

Pauline Kelly Harline writes about female Mormon bloggers and the long tradition of writing that exists in Mormon culture.

Joseph Spencer recaps the Mormon Theology Symposium that recently wrapped up in London here.

A whole host of qualified people (including JI-ers Andrea Radke-Moss and Rachael Givens) weigh in on the question of equality, gender, and priesthood here on a panel at Patheos.

Is the Mormon moment finally over? Find out here.

On the complexities of Mormon identities, being a gay Mormon, and going from being a missionary to playing one on a stage.

On the intersection of politics and religion when it comes to popular opinion.

Emmeline Wells is highlighted by the National Women’s History Museum here.

The Deseret News reports on the third new temple film to come into rotation in the span of twelve or so months.

And finally, the Annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture is holding its symposium on July 22, 23, and 25. The program can be found here. In the neighborhood? Come listen to Natalie Rose on Tuesday!

Anything we missed? Leave your contributions in the comments!

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