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Conference/Presentation Reports

Joseph Smith Papers Conference

By August 6, 2018


The Joseph Smith Papers will release volume 4 of the Revelations and Translations series this year (2018), including the Book of Abraham and other related documents. In conjunction with the new publication, JSP will be holding a conference on 26 October 2018 at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Presentations include methods of translation, reception of translation, insights into Smith’s Egyptian-language project, and insights into the Book of Abraham.

The day-long conference is free and includes lunch, but space is limited. For a full schedule and registration, go to the website. 

Update: Registration for the conference is full and has closed.


7 Takeaways from #MHA2018

By June 11, 2018


Another MHA has come and gone and it was one of my favorites yet. Lots of colleagues, friends, and acquaintances in one place speaking about a topic that occupies a lot of my brainspace. The plenaries and Judith Weisenfeld’s Smith-Pettit Lecture were all excellent, and you’ll all want to read all of them in JMH or future books. Rather than recap the conference, I’ve jotted down some quick thoughts on what I’m taking away from the 2018 MHA Annual Meeting.

Gender: More women presented at MHA than in previous years. This is unequivocally a good thing. I heard some grumbling that including more women was “too much too fast.” This seems insensitive and shows much more about the speaker than about the program. There’s no way for every worthy paper to be accepted for any conference (ask any member of any program committee). Thinking that there were too many women suggests that there is a right number of women or that women are somehow a supplement to the program. The program committee did an excellent job organizing their programs around the conference’s theme and balancing the need for new and seasoned voices on a variety of topics. My hat goes off to them  

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Attending MHA as an Avocational Historian

By May 25, 2018


A few days ago I posted on what it’s like to attend the Mormon History Association annual conference. Today I’m going to write about why I attend and what it has been like for me in my particular situation. We anticipate a few other posts like this from different perspectives.

There are multiple reasons why someone might attend MHA and I’ll describe a few below but I think the main reason boils down to this: MHA goers are interesting people who know cool stuff. You are an interesting person who knows cool stuff. If we all hang out and talk about the cool stuff we have a good time and learn more cool stuff. If we do this often enough eventually we’ll all be so cool and interesting and together that we’ll need to wear sunglasses.

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Attend MHA

By May 23, 2018


Last week commenter acw wrote: “As one who hasn’t ever attended but has considered it,, could you also post some kind of MHA for newbies guide? Like why and how to come/participate, etc.” Below I provide a general description of what to expect and how to attend. In a subsequent post I’ll talk about the whys and hows of my experience at MHA as an avocational historian. We’re hoping to get together a few other what-it’s-like posts from different perspectives.

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Mormon Studies Publication Workshop at the John C. Danforth Center for Religion and Politics (Deadline March 27)

By March 13, 2017


Last year, Kris W. and I hosted a “Mormonism in Religious Studies” workshop at the University of Utah. We discussed religious disappointment, Mormonism and Spiritualism, failed healings, immigration, Mormon women and masonry, and other topics at length.

The workshop helped to create a sense of community among young scholars from a variety of places and disciplines while providing helpful feedback for developing projects.  As a result, we have decided to host another workshop as a pre-conference workshop at the 2017 meetings of the Mormon History Association in St. Louis, MO. The workshop, “Surveying Trends in the Field: Mormon History and Mormon Studies in the Modern Academy,” will be held on Thursday, June 1 at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis from 9 AM-5 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.

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How to Livetweet a Conference, featuring the Workshops, Panels, and Papers of #MHA2016 on Twitter

By June 16, 2016


Today’s post on livetweeting a conference comes from Eliza N. She is an editor who lives and works in Salt Lake City. She grew up in the Midwest and misses the cornfields. When she’s not working, reading, or watching Netflix, she enjoys running, playing volleyball, and hanging out with her dog. Eliza tries her best to follow these Twitter tips @EtotheNev.

You can see the archived tweets from #MHA2016 at the links provided at the bottom of the page! If you have tweets we missed please post them in the comments. If your tweets or session appear in the links below, please share on Twitter and Facebook (and tag either @MormonHistoryJI or our Facebook page).

 

Etiquette for Tweeting a Conference, or Seven Tips for Making Your Live-Tweet Game Sizzle

As younger generations and technology invade academia, audiences for conferences like this past weekend’s Mormon History Association’s grapple with what the heck certain platforms are and how to use them. Perhaps the most popular for MHA, Twitter is a useful and fun tool that might baffle newcomers. It takes time to learn its tricks, cadence, and inside jokes, but we can help you catch up on some of the particulars for live-tweeting a conference like MHA.

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An MHA 2016 Primer; or, Reprising Practice Month at the JI

By June 8, 2016


On the cusp of the annual Mormon History Association conference, which is centered on the theme of “practice” this year and begins later this week at Snowbird, UT, it seems like a good time to highlight some of the resources and the work done here at the JI on the theme of “practice” during March 2014. During that month (which hardly seems like two plus years ago), we carried the theme of practice through a series of posts from guests and regular contributors. See, for instance, guest Megan Sanborn Jones’s analysis of Mormon pageants and religious performance, J. Stapley’s discussion of his favorite books on liturgy/ritual, or Kris Wright’s thoughts on “Vernacular Architecture and Religious Practice.” We also had a (somewhat delayed) multiple part “Scholarly Inquiry” interview with Dan Belnap on his edited volume By Our Rites of Worship: Latter-day Saint Views on Ritual in History, Scripture, and Practice. And we put some effort toward assembling a (theoretically) comprehensive bibliography dealing with matters of practice in Mormon history. If you’re looking to grease the skids for a memorable and productive conference this weekend, you could do worse than to start here!


MWHIT Relief Society Bazaar and Silent Auction at MHA 2016

By May 27, 2016


The Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (MWHIT) is pleased to announce its first annual Relief Society Bazaar and Silent Auction, to be held at the Mormon History Association Conference, June 9-12, 2016 at the Snowbird Resort. (For overall conference program and registration information, please see Mormon History Association 2016 conference registration.)  MWHIT encourages MHA attendees to visit our booth in the book exhibit space at the conference, where we welcome browsing, bidding, and purchase of our team members’ contributions.  Many of you know our members, from whom you can expect personal and detailed work:  Lisa T., Jenny R., Kate H., Sheree B., Taunalyn R., Andrea R.-M., Susanna M., Janelle H., Anna R., Barbara J. B., and Brittany N.

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Papers on Mormonism and Papers by JI-ers at ASCH

By January 5, 2016


This week, historians from around the United States will descend upon Atlanta for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. The American Society of Church History will meet concurrently and happens to feature a number of JI-ers and several papers related to Mormonism. You can view the rest of the schedule here. If you are in Atlanta please let us know; we always look forward to meeting online friends in “real life.”

One more thing: if you are interested in offering a short blog post for JI about one of the sessions, please let us know in the comments!

The Nineteenth-Century American Scriptural Imagination: Three Case Studies
Thursday, January 7, 2016: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 10

Chair: James Byrd, Vanderbilt University

Papers:
Presidential Death and the Bible: 1799, 1865, 1881
Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

A Rushing Mighty Wind: Tornadic Pentecosts and Apocalypses in Nineteenth-Century America
Peter J. Thuesen, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The Abraham Mythos and Mormon Marriage, Early and Late
Kathleen Flake, University of Virginia

Comment: Philip Goff, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

 

The Confluence of Race, Religion, and Society: The Subversive Politics of Racial and Religious Minorities in the Progressive Era
Friday, January 8, 2016: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 1

Chair: Elizabeth Jemison, Clemson University

Papers:
Whiteness, Christianity, and Civilization: Western Culture at a Black University, Howard University, 1900-30
Matthew Bowman, Henderson State University

Liquor and Liberty: African American Preachers, Poll Taxes, and Anti-Prohibition in Early Twentieth Century Texas
Brendan Payne, Baylor University

The “Evil of Race Suicide Now Sweeping Like a Blight”: Eugenics and Racialized Religion in the Progressive Era
Joseph Stuart, University of Utah

Comment: Elizabeth Jemison, Clemson University

 

The Uses of Propaganda in American Religious History: Catholicism, Mormonism, Protestantism
Friday, January 8, 2016: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, International Ballroom 1

Chair: Seth Perry, Princeton University

Papers:
“So Many Foolish Virgins”: True Womanhood, Nuns, and Propaganda in Antebellum America
Cassandra Leigh Yacovazzi, University of Missouri-Columbia

Religious Outsiders and the Catholic Critique of Protestantism in America
Bradley Kime, University of Virginia

Part Serendipity, Part Strategy: The Public Image Boost of the 1936 Mormon Welfare Plan as an Exception to America’s “Religious Depression”
J. B. Haws, Brigham Young University

Comment: Seth Perry, Princeton University


Videos for Black, White, and Mormon Conference (October 2015)

By October 27, 2015


The Tanner Humanities Center has made the videos for the Black, White, and Mormon Conference available. The conference, held at the University of Utah on October 8-9, 2015, was an incredible experience for me as a participant. I would love to see more opportunities, funding, and venues dedicated to this type of public engagement. 

The McMurrin Lecture by Lester Bush:

A Commemoration for Those Who Have Died

Race and the Inner City

Race and Mormon Women

Race and the International Church

Race and Brigham Young University

Race at the Ward Level

VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE EVENT’S CO-SPONSORS

George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation | Greg Prince | Jess Hurtado | Smith-Pettit Foundation | Anonymous | DESB Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative (Utah) | Charles Redd Center (BYU) | College of Humanities (BYU) | Laurel Thatcher-Ulrich | Utah Valley University | Department of History (Utah) | University of Utah Press

#BWMormon2015

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