CFP: 2016 Church History Symposium – “Beyond Biography: Sources in Context for Mormon Women’s History”

By January 7, 2015

2016 Church History Symposium

Beyond Biography: Sources in Context for Mormon Women’s History

March 3-4, 2016

Scholars of Mormon women’s history have long demonstrated a commitment to and an interest in biography. The resulting narratives have helped to recover and preserve voices that would have otherwise been lost to modern awareness and have allowed us to sketch the outlines of Mormon women’s experience over the past two centuries. The 2016 Church History Symposium will build upon past biographical work and push our understanding forward by addressing the following questions: How might we employ archival and other sources to create more complete and complex pictures of Mormon women’s history? How might we consider what individual lives mean within their broader contexts? How will these approaches expand or recast our understanding of Mormon history?

We invite proposals that explore these questions about Mormon women’s history by engaging any of the following methods or topics: social history, cultural history, lived religion, lived experience, material culture, generational ideas, agency, class, collaboration, religious expression, domesticity, public/private and center/periphery. Successful proposals will include a clear argument, innovative use of primary sources, and new approaches to doing Mormon women’s history.

If you wish to be considered for participation in this symposium, please submit the following by May 1, 2015 to

  • Proposal of 300-700 words
    • Proposals should be formatted with separate headings and brief discussion of each of the following:
      • Thesis statement
      • Overview of the primary sources to be used
      • Contribution to the field of Mormon women’s history
    • Also include a brief biographical paragraph describing your relevant academic background.

Decisions for inclusion in the symposium will be made by July 1, 2015. Because it is anticipated that the committee will receive a high volume of submissions, deadlines and guidelines will be strictly observed. Several papers that best fit the conference theme will be selected for publication in an edited volume. Authors whose papers are selected for publication will be notified within 30 days of the symposium.

Co-Chairs: Rachel Cope (BYU) and Lisa Tait (Church History Department)

Committee Members: Gerrit Dirkmaat (BYU), Amy Easton-Flake (BYU), Keith Erekson (Church History Department), Kate Holbrook (Church History Department)

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Well, that sounds interesting!

    Comment by Saskia — January 7, 2015 @ 7:22 am

  2. Looks fantastic.

    Comment by Ben P — January 7, 2015 @ 7:37 am

  3. Is there a church history symposium this year (2015)? I can’t find any information on it anywhere. Just curious if anyone knows. The 2016 symposium sounds wonderful. I’m putting it on my calendar so I can make sure to attend.

    Comment by Curtis C. — January 7, 2015 @ 8:47 am

  4. This is just awesome that it follows Edje’s piece.

    Comment by EmJen — January 7, 2015 @ 10:57 am

  5. Curtis,

    My understanding is that there is not a symposium for 2015.

    Comment by Robin — January 7, 2015 @ 11:06 am

  6. Thanks for the info, Robin. I attended my first symposium last year and loved it. Wasn’t going to be able to make it this year anyway (assuming the usual timeframe of early March), so I guess I won’t be missing anything.

    Comment by Curtis C. — January 7, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

  7. 3 cheers for the committee! This sounds wonderful.

    Comment by J Stuart — January 7, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

  8. I should have sent an explanation of the symposium schedule with the CFP. There is definitely not a Church History Symposium this year (2015). My understanding is that the symposium will be held every other year from now on. We are giving people plenty of time to research and write in hopes of encouraging top-notch work.

    Comment by LisaT — January 9, 2015 @ 1:56 pm


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