Mormon History at ASCH 2011

By October 18, 2010

I am likely behind the times, but I just noticed that the American Society of Church History released a preliminary program for their 2011 meeting in Boston (which can be found here). While there are many panels that promise to be not only fascinating but relevant to frequenters of JI, I thought I would point out three sessions that are likely of particular interest.

Thursday, January 6: 3:00 PM ? 5:00 PM

?Women?s Ritual and Religious Authority in Early Mormonism? ? joint with Mormon History Association
The Westin Copley Place, St. George Room D

Chair: Philip L. Barlow, Utah State University

Kathleen Flake, Vanderbilt University
?Nineteenth-Century LDS Marital Rites and the Not-So-Patrilineal Family?

Jill Mulvay Derr, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
?Eliza R. Snow and the Expression of Female Authority in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism?

Susanna Morrill, Lewis & Clark College
?Women?s Birth and Death Rituals in the Lived Religion of Mormonism, 1870s-1920s?

Comment: James Hudnut-Beumler, Vanderbilt University

Friday, January 7: 9:30 AM ? 11:30 AM

?A Retrospective on the Scholarship of Richard Bushman? (roundtable) ? joint with AHA

Chair: Grant Underwood, Brigham Young University
Harry S. Stout, Yale University
Gordon S. Wood, Brown University
Catherine Kelly, University of Oklahoma
Laurie Maffly-Kipp, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Comment: Richard Bushman, Claremont Graduate University

Saturday, January 8: 2:30 PM ? 4:30 PM

?Things True and Useful: Writing History in the Mormon Tradition?
The Westin Copley Place, St. George Room C

Chair: Susanna Morrill, Lewis & Clark College

Matthew Bowman, Georgetown University
?History Thrown into Divinity: Faith, History, and the Founding Events of Mormonism?

John G. Turner, University of South Alabama
??A New Order of Things?: Polygamy, Faith, and Scholarship?

David J. Howlett, Kenyon College
??We?re Not the Mormons?: Alterity and Church History in the Community of Christ?

Comment: Susanna Morrill, Lewis & Clark College


This seems to be quite a bit of Mormon exposure at ASCH this year. First, I’m pleased that MHA is continuing a sometimes tradition of co-sponsoring a session–I don’t remember that happening in the last few years (but maybe I was just oblivious).

Second, though the retrospection panel on Bushman will cover his entire corpus of scholarship—it is sometimes easy to forget that he is best known for his work unrelated to Mormonism—it will be interesting to hear what is said about his Joseph Smith scholarship. Also, combined with the MHA awards he and Claudia received in May and the upcoming commemorative conference in his honor next June, it is nice to see so much attention given the well-worthy sage.

Third, it is especially nice to see the third session filled with a JI perma and two JI frequenters. (Now if only we can convince Susanna to come aboard…) Well represented, indeed! And congrats to those involved!

I really wish I could attend, but familial and geographical constraints will keep me here in the UK. Anyone planning on attending? Any thoughts on the schedule in general?

Article filed under Announcements and Events


  1. Wish I was attending this year. These sessions look great. Hopefully we can get a report from Matt or one of the other attendees.

    Comment by Christopher — October 18, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  2. Thanks for the run down, Ben. Wish I could make it.

    Comment by Jared T. — October 18, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  3. Looks fun.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — October 18, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  4. Thanks for this, Ben. I’ll be there since it’s just across the river.

    I’ll also take this moment to prime the pump for next year’s meetings (AAR, ASCH), as I’ll be looking for folks who would like to go in with me on a panel proposal.

    Comment by Max — October 18, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  5. Max,
    Do you have any ideas about possible panel topics? Because I’m probably going to be looking for possible panel-mates for those meetings as well.

    Comment by SC Taysom — October 18, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  6. SC–

    No specifics to offer on that front, but let’s stay in touch.

    Comment by Max — October 18, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  7. My couch is available for anybody whose travel budget doesn’t cover a hotel.

    Comment by Kristine — October 18, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  8. I’d really love to be able to make it.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 18, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  9. J., are you in touch with S. Morrill?

    Comment by WVS — October 18, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  10. We have been in touch over the years. She is down in Portland at Lewis and Clark. The title of her paper suggests that she is presenting her paper that was recently published in JMH.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 18, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  11. I wish I could go to things like this, but it’s just not possible at this time of my life.

    For the last three years, I have been working on a novel that takes place in Utah Valley, during the year just following Johnston’s retreat and the end of the Utah War. I’m a little worried about my portrayal because the events in my novel also have to do with the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which is of course a hot-button topic in Mormon Culture and with the church. But I will look forward to any review of these events that people may post.

    Comment by Sarah Dunster — November 8, 2010 @ 11:31 am

  12. Wow, what a great set! I envy the attenders.

    Comment by BHodges — November 28, 2010 @ 6:42 pm


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