The “Quick and
Dirty Topic Model” is a sneak-peek at a larger project that will be released
with Better Days 2020, which is
the sesquicentennial celebration of women’s suffrage and the centennial of the
19th Amendment. It sounds like the results of the later slow and thorough
topic model will be released in a digital and explorable format with the Better
Visionaries: Joseph Smith in Comparative Contexts
Department of Church History and Doctrine at BYU and the Church History
Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announce the
Church History Symposium, March 12–13, 2020. The symposium will convene at
Brigham Young University (March 12) and at the Conference Center Theater in
Salt Lake City (March 13). Keynote speakers include Sheri Dew and Richard Lyman
Bushman (March 12), and President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First
Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (March 13).
invite scholars of all backgrounds and career stages to submit proposals
specifically addressing the broad theme of “Visions and Visionaries: Joseph
Smith in Comparative Contexts.” Topics that could be explored under this theme
include, but are not exclusive to, the following:
Joseph Smith’s First Vision and subsequent visions
Latter-day Saint visionaries
Presbyterianism and Methodism and the First Vision
Unusual excitement—this is typically described as “revivals” without a clear sense of what that meant to Joseph Smith and his peers
Women and the First Vision—does it mean something different to women than to men? (see Susa Young Gates in April 1920 Improvement Era)
Youth and the First Vision (see MIA speech contests around turn of 20th century; BYU centennial celebration in 1920)
J. Reuben Clark’s 1938 statement that religious educators must assent to the First Vision as a historical event—context and implications
How the First Vision has been used in general conference (frequency/emphasis/change over time, etc.)
How the First Vision has been used in Church curriculum
How the First Vision has been used in missionary work
How the gospel topic essay “First Vision Accounts” has been used in classrooms and what difference, if any, has it made for students
Context and content of Orson Pratt’s An Interesting Account
Context and content of Orson Hyde’s German translation
Context of other contemporary accounts
Who did Joseph tell and when?
Theological content of the First Vision
Music and the First Vision
Art and the First Vision
Cinema and the First Vision
Pageants and the First Vision
Joseph Smith among visionaries—how is he alike and different
Provenance of the accounts
Antagonists of the First Vision—arguments against it
should consist of a brief abstract (no more than 500 words) and a current CV.
Proposals may be sent to any member of the symposium organizing committee (see
below). Deadline for submission is September 15, 2019. Notification of
acceptance will be given by October 15, 2019. Selected papers will be published
by the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book following the symposium.
Research Historian, Joseph Smith Papers, (Contingent)–Church History Department
The Church History Department announces an opening for a Research Historian with the Joseph Smith Papers project. The successful candidate will assist the Joseph Smith Papers in the Publications Division of the Church History Department with historical and textual research for volumes in the Papers’ Documents series. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for someone interested in pursuing a career in history. We are looking for a motivated, energetic, and skilled individual to join our team.
This is a full-time position starting in September 2019 and expected to last 12 months.
Duties will include research related to document analysis (textual and documentary intention, production, transmission, and reception) and contextual annotation of documents (identifications and explanations). Research will involve work in primary and secondary sources for early nineteenth-century America and early Latter-day Saint history. Work will include general assistance to volume editors.
The Research Historian will work under the direction of senior Historians/Writers.
The ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities: Completion of Bachelor’s degree in history, religious studies, or other related field, preference will be given to those with master’s degrees and/or in doctoral programs in history, religious studies, or related discipline. Knowledge of and training in historical research Demonstration of excellent research and writing skills Ability to work in a scholarly and professional environment Strong organizational, time management, and verbal communication skills Organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments Creative and flexible Ability to work in a team, as well as independently Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
Please attach a vita, a short writing sample demonstrating ability in using primary sources to form a cogent argument, and a list of three references to your application.
WORTHINESS QUALIFICATION Must be an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a current temple recommend.
Deadline: 23 June 2019
To apply, go to careers.lds.org and search for Job Posting 236293
From our friends at the Joseph Smith Papers Project:
Call for Papers
“Joseph Smith’s Expanding Visions and the Practical Realities of Establishing Nauvoo.”
(September 1839-April 1842)
On 11 October 2019, the Joseph Smith Papers Project will host its third annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. As with past years, the 2019 conference will be held to celebrate the release of recent volumes–Documents 7, Documents 8, and Documents 9. These volumes reproduce high-quality transcriptions of Joseph Smith’s papers from September 1839 through April 1842. As noted in the call for papers:
Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni & Visitors Center, Brigham Young University
Some of the most puzzling documents left in the wake of Joseph Smith’s prophetic career pertain tot he Book of Abraham–from the ancient papyrus to the nineteenth-century notebooks. For over a century these documents were specially housed away from public view. In 2018 the Joseph Smith Papers Project team published the documents in Revelations and Translations, vol. 4.
Every year I look forward to seeing which books will be published (you can read my recap of the best books and articles of 2018 HERE). The list isn’t comprehensive—many books don’t have listings on press websites quite yet. Nevertheless, I hope that I’ve highlighted many of the books Mormon historians are anxiously waiting to have their hands on in the next twelve months. All quotations are from the Press’s website (when available) and all links are to the publisher’s website (where available).
Lecture: “A Window into Joseph Smith’s Translation: An Exploration of the Book of Mormon Manuscripts” presented by Robin Scott Jensen
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Assembly Hall (50 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150)
The Joseph Smith Papers is pleased to invite you to a special presentation in conjunction with the publication of Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts. Robin Jensen, co-editor of the volume and project archivist for the Joseph Smith Papers, will present a lecture on 15 November 2018.
Revelations and Translations, Volume 4 tracks the development of the Book of Abraham from the time Joseph Smith and others purchased Egyptian papyri in 1835 through the publication of the Book of Abraham and its accompanying illustrations in the church newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842. Introductions in the volume situate Joseph Smith’s translation process in the broader context of the nineteenth-century fascination with Egyptian history and culture, of his own effort to reveal truths from the ancient past, and of his other translation efforts.
The Mormon History Association’s annual conference will be in SaltLake City, June 7-10, 2018. The topic for next year’s conference is “Isolation and Integration” and the deadline for proposals is this week—Thursday the 15th. Find the Call for Papers here.
On June 6-9, 2019 the Mormon History Association will gather for their fifty-fourth annual conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a friendly reminder from the 2019 program co-chairs, Brittany Chapman Nash and Taunalyn Rutherford, that the deadline for submitting proposals is November 15, 2018.
We are excited about the potential for the production of scholarly work inspired by the 2019 conference theme, “Isolation and Integration.” Gathering in Salt Lake City affords the ideal location to contemplate the duality of the Mormon yearnings to be a peculiar people (isolation) and the contradictory impulse to be accepted and “mainstream” (integration). Historical commemorations marked by 2019 echo this theme and are rich topics for potential panels and papers. Consider for example, the 150th anniversaries of the laying of the Golden Spike and John Wesley Powell’s first Colorado River exploration, the 1869 national discussion over granting Utah women suffrage, and the centennial of the dedication of the Laie Hawaii Temple.
Scans of the Wilford Woodruff Diaries have been made available on the website for The Church History Library (owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). This is a huge deal for four reasons (beyond the fact that he was an Apostle and Church President, which I walk through below.
First, Woodruff kept a diary for more than fifty years as an active Mormon. Historians have a much better idea of what happened in Mormon relationships, church meetings, and other areas because of his records. He kept meticulous track of many things, including the letters he sent, people he baptized, and more. He recorded the words of ordinary Mormons. He wrote down his visions and impressions. He doodled. In short, his diary is fascinating for anyone looking to understand how Mormonism worked in nineteenth-century Mormonism. If you don’t believe me, ask Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. She says, “Woodruff’s massive chronicle is not only an essential source for the study of nineteenth- century Mormonism, it is a great American diary.”
Kent S Larsen II on Digitized Publications Available from: “It’s not just the Scandinavian, German and Dutch publications that are available. Almost all the foreign language publications in the Church History Library are available…”