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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) multiplepart “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!
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.
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
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
We are one month away from the deadline for MHA’s call for papers, so I thought this was as good a time as any to talk about the conference in general and conference papers in particular. I hope every reader of JI has had the privilege to attend MHA’s annual conference. It truly is a phenomenal time, with a mixture of solid papers and warm comraderie. It is quite unlike most historical conferences I attend where few people actually attend sessions and most people remain in the halls, at restaurants, and doing anything but hearing papers. There is certainly plenty of socializing and networking at MHA, but the thing that sets it apart is people actually care about the sessions, papers, and presenters. It’s refreshing, honestly. There are at times poorly-attended sessions, but more often than not the rooms are mostly filled, and not too infrequently they are overflowing with more anxious attendees than there are chairs. This is one of the conference’s great strengths.
Steve Fleming on Tolkien, Mormonism, and Pendle: “Good point about that introduction, and I'll agree that LOTR isn't a straightforward allegory. But in that same introduction, Tolkien admits that WWI naturally had…”