History News Roundup: Pew Survey, Elder Jensen, and others

By January 12, 2012

This post is merely designed to be a catch-all for recent Mormon history-related news. Please feel free to add anything I missed in the comments.

  • The big buzz this morning is the release of the Pew Forum’s new study on Mormons in America. There have been excellent commentary on the results here, here, and here (just to link to a few), as well as a cordial response from LDS PR man Michael Otterson and a supportive write-up from the LDS Newsroom. Make sure to follow the live-blogging on the Pew’s conference call with the media over at BCC. Our own Matt Bowman is on the advisory panel for the survey, and will be writing up his thoughts later.
  • As highlighted in Jared’s write-up, the Church announced today that Elder Jensen will be stepping down as Church Historian in October, to be replaced by Elder Steven E. Snow. All accounts of Elder Snow thus far are glowing, but he will have some huge shoes to fill since Elder Jensen has become a hero in many people’s eyes (including my own). Make sure to go offer your appreciation to a modern-day hero on Jared’s post.
  • Matt Bowman’s forthcoming The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (Random House) is now available on Google Books, and should be released in two weeks. It’s a phenomenal book, and is already getting rave reviews.
  • The first volume of Women of Faith in the Latter Days is now available, and looks phenomenal. Ardis’s review of it made me even more excited about finally getting my hands on a copy.
  • Plans are continuing to come together for MHA’s 2012 conference in Alberta, Canada. Make sure to plan early, as plane tickets can be pretty expensive. Those who wish to do the scenic tours to and from Calgary (looks like a blast) need to RSVP ASAP. Also, if you haven’t heard yet, Glenn Leonard has been elected President-Elect for the organization, which is a fitting tribute to a great historian. And finally, the Journal of Mormon History has a new online home at the Utah State University website, where all issues prior to 2009 can be downloaded. (Also, rumor has it that MHA will be launching a newly-designed and more user-friendly website sometime soon.)
  • The Restoration Studies Symposium will hold its annual meeting April 13-15, 2012, in Independence, Missouri. The deadline for paper submissions is January 31, 2012. Those wishing to submit papers, with the theme ?American Restorationism,? must include a ?300-word abstract of your proposal with a 100-word biographical introduction? to rssapril2012 AT yahoo DOT com.
Also some fantastic symposia coming up that shouldn’t be missed. (It’s times like these I hate living so far away.)
  • On February 3-4, there is a Mormonism and American Politics conference taking place in NYC, sponsored by The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public life. Speakers include our own Matt Bowman and Max Mueller, as well as heavyweights Claudia and Richard Bushman, Randall Balmer, David Campbell, Joanna Brooks, Sally Gordon, and Jan Shipps. Boy I wish I could attend.
  • That same weekend, Nauvoo will (logically) play host to “Untold Nauvoo Stories.” Looks like a fun time, including presentations from walking-encyclopaedias Lachlan McKay and Joseph Johnstun. Scott Esplin and Bryon Andreason should also give stellar papers.
  • On February 24-25th, The Foundation for Religious Diplomacy is hosting “At the Crossroads, Again: Mormon & Methodist Encounters in the 19th and 21st Centuries,” held in Washington DC. Speakers on Mormonism include our own Christopher Jones as well as Kristine Haglund, Senator Bob Bennett, David Cambpell (he’s getting a lot of (well deserved) pub lately), Kathleen Flake, Terryl Givens, Matthew Holland, and Warner Woodworth.
  • At BYU on March 1-2 will be “Exploring Mormon Conceptions of Apostasy.” Lots of great names there, including our own Chris Jones, Steve Fleming, and Matt Bowman.
  • The Organization of American Historians holds its annual meeting late in April, this year in Milwaukee. Relevant presentations include our own Max Mueller on “William McCary’s Ventriloquism during the Mormon Exodus (1846-47)” (Max’s work on race in Mormonism is top-notch and long-waited for) as well as a presentation from the JSP on “Bridging the Gap Between the Academy and the Public: The Joseph Smith Papers Documentary Editing Project” (which includes our own Rob Jensen). Both look stupendous.
Things are bright in Mormon studies!

Article filed under Announcements and Events


  1. Thanks! Any word on the program for the CHL-BYU conference on JFS during the first weekend of March?

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 12, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  2. Thanks for the run-down, Ben. Lots of great stuff to look forward to.

    Comment by Jared T — January 12, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  3. Good call, Stapley. Completely slipped my mind. I don’t know anything besides the vague details at the bottom of this link. Hopefully we’ll get more information soon.

    Comment by Ben P — January 12, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  4. I’m a subscriber to JMS, but it doesn’t appear I’m allowed access to the USU archive, not being on an IP associated with an institution. Anyone aware of making digital JMS available to subscribers who are not academically connected with the USU system? Quite disappointing for non-affiliated subscribers like myself, otherwise.

    Comment by David T — January 12, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  5. Thanks for the run-down, Ben. A lot of exciting developments.

    David T, I’m not on an IP associated with an institution either right now, and I’m having no problem accessing the site or its content. As far as I know, you shouldn’t either. Can you describe your issue a bit more?

    Comment by Christopher — January 12, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  6. After having registered, I click on a link to download a pdf, and I get the message “You appear to be connecting from an IP address that does not have a site license to this journal.”

    Comment by David T — January 12, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  7. David: that is probably for the last two year’s worth of issues. They are currently working on trying to get those available to subscribers, from what I hear. Do you get the same problem when you try to download issues prior to 2009?

    Comment by Ben P — January 12, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  8. The most recent two years are only available to subscribers. Older stuff is available to everyone.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 12, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  9. Ah, I see it’s the two-years. Yes, I can download up to 2009. I look forward to those digital editions of the most recent editions being available to the paid hard-copy subscribers. While I enjoy having the hardcopy editions, I find it’s more likely I’ll have a chance to read through them if I can plop them into my Kindle. I’m behind as it is!

    Thanks for answering.

    Comment by David T — January 12, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  10. If it’s worth noting, I’ll be presenting at the Southwestern Social Science Association Conference in San Diego on April 6, paper entitled, Believing Blood in the Borderlands: Mormon Missionaries and the Construction of Race in the Late 19th Century

    And also at the Arizona Centennial Conference in Phoenix on April 21, paper entitled, ?For the First Time, She Had a Pleasing Look?: Race, Blood, and Faithin the 1887 Sonoran Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Comment by Jared T — January 12, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  11. Those are well worth noting, Jared; thanks for mentioning them!

    Comment by Ben P — January 12, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  12. We shouldn’t forget Sam Brown’s new book!

    Comment by bmh — January 12, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  13. You think you live far, Ben? I live in Spain.hahaha. Very good job. Thank you.

    Comment by Tony Batanero — January 14, 2012 @ 3:09 pm


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