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Miscellaneous

Q&A with Sara Georgini

By March 19, 2019


Kurt Manwaring has published an interview with historian Sara Georgini over on his site, From the Desk. Georgini earned her Ph.D. in American History at Boston University and is a Series Editor for The Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her most recent book, Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family, examines the religious lives of the Adams Family across several generations. An excerpt from Manwaring’s site (including a question about the Adams Family and Joseph Smith is posted below; click over to From the Desk to read the rest!

How was religion used to frame the successes and failures of John Adams’ political endeavors?

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Call for Applicants: Mormon Studies Publication Workshop

By March 18, 2019


On Thursday, June 6, 2019 the Fourth Annual Mormon Studies Publication Workshop will be held at the University of Utah.

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. Over the past three years, we have received dozens of excellent submissions on race, gender, sexuality, and other historiographical fields. Last year, at Boise State University, we hosted scholars from across the United States California to Massachussetts. You can read more about the 2017 meeting at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis here.

Workshopped papers from the past three years have become parts of books published by (or under contract with) Oxford University Press, University of Nebraska Press, and Routledge University Press; the Journal of Religion, the Journal of Mormon History, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture, completed dissertations, and other distinguished venues.

The workshop, “Writing: Strategies on How and When to Write,” will be held Thursday, June 6 from 10:00 AM AM-3:30 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.

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What’s in a name?

By March 13, 2019


I’ve spent a bit of time in the last month thinking about titles. I’m considering my own potential book titles, but also the titles of two books that I’m currently reviewing. When I got a copy of The Expanded Canon: Perspectives on Mormonism and Sacred Texts edited by Blair G. Van Dyke, Brain D. Birch, and Boyd. J. Petersen (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2018) I assumed I knew what it was about. Joseph Smith’s expansion on the Christian canon has been a lightning rod for attention since before he organized any church. I expected a focused consideration of Latter-day Saint expansions to the Christian canon: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Likewise, when I first saw Larry Morris’ Documentary History of the Book of Mormon (Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 2019), I made assumptions. I initially panicked wondering if his work overlapped too much with my own current Book of Mormon reception book project and then hoped that he laid out the publication history through documents so I didn’t have to sort it all out myself.

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New Articles on Mormon History and Mormon Studies

By March 12, 2019


Several articles on Mormon history or Mormon Studies have been published in non-Mormon specific venues in the past few months. While the Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Sunstone, and BYU Studies continue to be sources of groundbreaking and award-winning scholarship, they are not the only journals interested in the academic study of Mormonism.

I’ve included the abstract and link to each article. Let me know if I missed any from the past few months in the comments!

audio, megaphone, sound, speaker, voice, volume icon

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Applications Now Open for MWHIT Research Grants

By March 10, 2019


From our friends at the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team:

We are beyond thrilled to be able to offer two research grants to support work in Mormon women’s history–one student award and one independent scholar award. Deadline to apply is April 1, so don’t delay. Click here for details on the Student Grant and here for details on the Independent Scholar grant.


CFP: Interdisciplinary Symposium on “Voting Rights: 1870, 1920, 1965, 2020”

By March 8, 2019


I imagine there would be some great Mormon connections, such as fresh examinations of the Edmunds and Edmunds-Tucker Act, that our community could make for this conference.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Utah State University (Logan, UT)

March 19-20, 2020

In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, granting many women in the nation the right to vote for the first time. Fifty years earlier, Utah had been among the first territories to enfranchise women in 1870, and Utah then allowed women’s suffrage again in 1895 after statehood. Despite these advances, the history of enfranchisement still excluded key groups, even after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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2019 Mormon Studies Conference at UVU

By March 5, 2019



How “Mormon” were the Events in ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT?

By March 4, 2019


The film “Abducted in Plain Sight” has gained a lot of notoriety online for its salacious story. Here is the plot, per Rotten Tomatoes: ”
On October 17, 1974, 12 year old Jan Broberg was kidnapped by her next-door neighbor and parents’ best friend. Abducted In Plain Sight is a feature length documentary about the stranger-than-fiction, true story of the Brobergs; an Idaho family who fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter. The film tells the story of one family’s struggle with desire, deceit, faith and forgiveness. The Brobergs’ troubling admissions reveal epic failures and untold personal dramas that point to the biggest tragedy of all — that these crimes could have been prevented. “

J Stuart and Cristina Rosetti (PhD Candidate in Religious Studies at UC-Riverside whose research focuses on non-LDS Mormonism) decided to discuss whether or not “Mormonism” contributed to the strange tale. The documentary should have several trigger warnings for sexual assault and rape. Consider this a trigger warning for the post and for the documentary itself. Also, this post contains spoilers.

Image result for abducted in plain sight

JS: I’ve seen some online discussion about whether the strange case of the Jan Broberg abductions should be considered particular symptoms of Mormonism or Mormon culture. I’m inclined to say NO, but I do think that it sheds light on how Mormonism functions in different social contexts. What do you think?

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“Everyone thinks I’m a kook and a charlatan”: Tom Brady, Alex Guerrero and the Mormon Faith in Alternative Medicine

By February 25, 2019


Today’s post comes from Craig Yugawa. Craig is an MD candidate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His current research focuses on healthcare access, physician advocacy, and sports medicine. He holds a BA in American Studies from Brigham Young University, where his studies focused on the cultural impact of sports and religion. You can follow him on twitter at @BYU_craiggers.

This weekend I happened upon a post on LDS Living that led to post a few animated tweets. The article is innocuous enough, pointing out Tom Brady commenting “Love my Mormons” on a recent his current teammate and BYU football alum Kyle Van Noy Instagram post. Highlighting Brady’s prior Mormon-adjacent post in 2017 that “our bodies are temples,” Danielle Wagner, the author of the post, speculates that this phrasing may, in fact, come from the influence of Alex Guerrero, codeveloper of the “TB12 Method”  and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[i]

Image result for alex guerrero

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Mary Frances Sturlaugson, First Black Woman to Serve LDS Mission, and the Merits of Black History Month

By February 19, 2019


In June 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball announced that “all worthy males” were eligible for priesthood ordination in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although President Kimball made no mention of “worthy women,” Black women were now finally permitted to attend the temple and participate in ordinances that they had previously been barred from. Like Black men, Black women were also now eligible for missionary service.

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Ben S on Call for Applicants: Mormon: “Dang. Missing it by 36 hours.”


John Turner on What's in a name?: “Titles are hard because they serve so many purposes, as several of you have mentioned. I am also agonizing about my current project (it's a…”


Ben P on What's in a name?: “These are good questions, Janiece. I suck at coming up with titles, so I often rely on others. (Ironically, it was John Turner who came…”


JJohnson on What's in a name?: “I'm not so much opposed to the pithy quote title formula, as I am impressed when a non-semi-colon title is able to accomplish as much…”


J Stuart on What's in a name?: “I may stand alone but I like the pithy quote title formula, so long as it isn't too obscure. I think it's what the book…”


JJohnson on What's in a name?: “Secularism in Antebellum America's subtitle wins everything.”

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