MHA 2008 Awards Ceremony

By May 23, 2008

Alas, I spent all my travel money going to an academic conference in the first Zion (Missouri), so I’m stuck in the second Zion (Utah) and getting regular dispatches from Christopher in the Almost Zion (California). Here’s the list of winners from this year’s awards ceremony.

Best Undergrad Paper: John Brumbaugh, “Return of Anti-Mormonism: Fred Dubois and the Reed Smoot Hearings.” 

Best Grad Papers: Stan Thayne, “Holiness to the Lord: Delineating and Maintaining the Symbolic Boundaries of Zion” and Matt Bowman, “The Crisis of Mormon Christology: History, Progress, and Protestantism, 1880-1930” (JIers cleaned house)

Best MA Thesis: Nathaniel Ricks, “A Peculiar Place for the Peculiar Institution: Slavery and Sovereignty in Early Territorial Utah” and Jeremy S. Parkin, “Police Work on the Mormon Trail, 1846-1847.” 

Best Dissertation: Christine Talbot, “Mormons, Polygamy, and the American Body Politic: Contesting Citizenship, 1852-1890.”

Best Article: George Tate, “Death, The Great War, and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic as Context for D&C 138” in BYU Studies.

Awards of Excellence: Paul Reeve, “Places That Can Be Easily Defended,” (Utah Historical Quarterly) and Jake Olmsted “The Mormon Hierarchy and the MX” (JMH)

Best First Book: Paul Reeve (Making Space on the Western Frontier) and Matt Godfrey on Mormons and sugar in Idaho.

Best Book: Terryl Givens (People of Paradox)

Best Documentary: Jed Rogers, Nuttall Diaries

Arrington Award for Lifetime Achievement: Jim Allen

Thomas L. Kane Award for Best Gentile: Bill MacKinnon

Larry and Arlene King got an award for their contribution to MHA. Membership has increased by 125% since they took over.

Article filed under Announcements and Events


  1. Thanks for this, David! I’m so proud of several of my friends who got awards!

    Comment by Margaret Young — May 23, 2008 @ 11:21 pm

  2. I stayed up late hoping someone would post this. Thanks David!

    Comment by Randy B. — May 23, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

  3. Congrats Matt and Stan!

    Comment by Jared T — May 23, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

  4. Nate Ricks was in the MA program with me at BYU. He was hands down the most talented historian in the group so I’m glad that they got this award.

    Comment by David G. — May 24, 2008 @ 12:02 am

  5. Thanks for the update. Wish I was there too. 125%, wow! That’s great news, and these awards demonstrate how much deeper the field is getting all the time.

    Comment by tona — May 24, 2008 @ 8:13 am

  6. Not being too familiar with the MHA, could someone explain the “Thomas L. Kane Award for Best Gentile”? The others are self-explanatory.

    Congratulations to the award winners. Looks like a good selection.

    Comment by Researcher — May 24, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  7. Here’s an explanation of the awards:

    Thomas L. Kane Award
    Presented to a person outside of the Mormon community who made a significant contribution to Mormon history.
    This award is presented in the grand tradition of Thomas L. Kane, the Pennsylvania native who, in 1857, put his reputation on the line in behalf of compromise and peace.

    As I understand it, it wasn’t just in 1857 and the Utah War, but throughout his life that Kane acted as a friend and intermediary for the Church, especially in political circles.

    Matt Grow wrote his dissertation at Notre Dame on Kane which is forthcoming through Yale press.

    Comment by Jared T — May 24, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  8. I enjoyed meeting a number of the JI crew here. You’ve got an impressive bunch of guys, and a really good blog. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Kevin Barney — May 24, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  9. But wasn’t the trip to the first Zion worth it? 🙂

    Comment by Angela — May 25, 2008 @ 3:29 pm

  10. Congratulations to Matt and Stan!

    Comment by Edje — May 25, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  11. Angela, the company made it especially worthwhile 😉

    Comment by David G. — May 25, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  12. Go Matt!

    Comment by Kate — May 26, 2008 @ 1:11 am

  13. Congrats to Matt & all. Great seeing JI folks at MHA!

    I want to reiterate the thanks given to the Kings, with whom we’ve worked closely at JWHA. You only imagine how much work goes into running an association like MHA when something goes wrong. By doing all their work so well, the Kings made it appear that these successful conferences happen by magic alone. In addition to the incredible membership gains, the Kings turned MHA’s finances around from dismal to remarkable. They leave big shoes for their successors, Pat Scott and Linda Thatcher, just as Lavina will be leaving some big shoes for her successor.

    Comment by John Hamer — May 26, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  14. Thanks, folks. And Stan’s paper rocks.

    Comment by matt b. — May 26, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  15. thanks y’all (who said congrats), and thanks to Matt for sharing the award, and for his response to our session, which was a paper in and of itself, and which elevated the session a hundred fold. I never cease to be amazed at your ability, Matt, to move and read at the same time and infuse the room with energy. ’twas a much fun conference.

    Comment by stan — May 26, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

  16. Congrats to Stan and Matt on their well-deserved awards (and, of course, to all other winners).

    Comment by Christopher — May 27, 2008 @ 12:44 pm


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