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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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Job Ad: Director of Publications, Church History Department

By February 13, 2019


The Church History Department is looking to hire a new Director of Publications, with responsibilities including overseeing the department’s several print and digital publications. You can find the ad at https://careers.lds.org/search/Public/Search.aspx by searching for job #228043. The posting will be open for two weeks.

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Mormon Studies in Unexpected Places, Volume IV: The Infinite Future

By February 13, 2019


This is the fourth installment in an ongoing but terribly irregular series dedicated to the appearance of Mormon Studies in popular media, including musical lyrics, popular television shows, movies, and so forth. Previous installments can be read here, here, and here.

Okay, the appearance of Mormon Studies isn’t entirely unexpected in a novel written by a Latter-day Saint author who graduated from BYU and whose books deal with explicitly Mormon themes and revolve around LDS characters. Indeed, it was the mention of “an excommunicated Mormon historian in Salt Lake City” among the characters featured in the description of Tim Wirkus’s 2018 novel, The Infinite Future, that sparked my interest enough to read a book about the search for the obscure Brazilian author of a mysterious science fiction book (that may or may not possess mystical powers).

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Call for Applicants—Consultation on Latter-day Saint Women in Comparative Perspective

By February 7, 2019


Consultation on 
Latter-day Saint Women in Comparative Perspective 
2019–2021

This three-year consultation will bring together a cohort of approximately twelve scholars with interests in gaining an in-depth understanding of the history and contemporary status of Latter-day Saint women in comparative perspective. Participants will gain and share critical tools for research, share drafts of work, and propose further avenues for future analysis.

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For Your Consideration: A Brief Musing on the Categorization of History

By February 1, 2019


Since the time I began working on my current book project on early Book of Mormon reception history, there have been individuals who have called what I am doing women’s history. I am certainly not offended by someone saying I do women’s history, I am not opposed to women’s history. I think women’s history does significant and important compensatory work to fill a historical chasm empty for too long. My Master’s thesis was clearly women’s history, I have done consistent work in that field, as well as the discipline directly informing other work that I do.

However, I’m always interested in the formal and informal categories that we construct to order the historical field and I’m wondering what makes something women’s history? As editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Joseph Spencer, introduced my recent article here for the Maxwell Institute, he complimented my work (thanks) and summarized the article: “how early converts—and especially women—approached the text of the Book of Mormon.” I suspect Joe wanted to highlight one of the things present in my article that is often absent in Mormon History, women. However, the “especially women” gave me pause. That pause has only expanded as I have heard others describe my current work as women’s history.

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Joseph Smith Papers Conference CFP

By January 31, 2019


The JSP just published the following Call for Papers:

To celebrate the release of volumes seven, eight, and nine of the Documents Series, the Joseph Smith Papers Project will host the third annual Joseph Smith Papers Conference on October 11, 2019.

Due to the overwhelming public interest in past conferences, this year’s event will take place at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, to accommodate all who want to attend.

The conference will focus on the history of Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, from September 1839 to April 1842.

We invite proposals for papers that engage with the theme “Joseph Smith’s Expanding Visions and the Practical Realities of Establishing Nauvoo.”

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MHA Award Nominations Due February 1

By January 30, 2019


A reminder that nominations for this year’s Mormon History Association’s annual awards are due on Feb. 1, 2019. MHA accepts submissions for any high-quality work published in 2018. There are awards for books, articles, and graduate student work. See details for the submissions process and categories on the Mormon History Association website. Details for submission can be found at the website linked here.

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