Mormon Studies at the AAR (2008)

By June 11, 2008

The American Academy of Religion has just released its program for the 2008 annual meeting, to be held in Chicago in November. The Mormon Studies Consultation will be holding two sessions this year.

The first is a session co-sponsored by the Afro-American Religious History Group, entitled “African-Americans and the Latter-Day Saints Church: A Historical Examination.” No speakers or panelists are listed for this one yet.

The second session, chaired by Phil Barlow, is entitled “Media, Religion, and Politics: Mitt Romney’s Campaign for the US Presidency.” It is described, in part, as follows

This session probes the intersection of religion, politics, and contemporary American culture through the revealing prism of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

This session features the following presenters

Mark Silk and John Green, “Anti-Mormonism and the Romney Campaign”

Doe DAughtrey, “Vocal Mormons Meet Mitt Romney: The Impact of a Mormon Presidential Candidate on Mormon Self-expression”

Michael Paulson (Boston Globe), “Media and the Mormon Candidate: One Reporter’s View.”

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. I’m sure that these will be fine papers, although it seems that Romney’s exit from the campaign may take the wind out of this particular panel a bit.

    Comment by SC Taysom — June 11, 2008 @ 1:55 pm

  2. SCT,
    Agreed, but I think the panel proposals were due last December, so they had to take a gamble. Could be interesting still, and of course, he always could be VP, though I doubt it.

    Comment by TT — June 11, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  3. The deadline is usually in February, but still too early to have known for sure. I remember this being kicked around during the business meeting at the AAR last year, and everyone acknowledged that it would be risky. Still very much worth attending, I’m sure.

    Comment by SC Taysom — June 11, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

  4. Thanks for the info, Steve. I’m especially interested in the other panel.

    Comment by David G. — June 11, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  5. Do you have a link to the program, Steve? From what I hear, the session on Blacks and the LDS Church is promising.

    It’s also worth noting that JI’s own Stan Thayne will be presenting at the meeting, though not on a Mormon topic.

    Comment by Christopher — June 11, 2008 @ 2:23 pm

  6. It’s actually just the “Program Planner” that has been released, so not everything is in it yet. I will try to find a link, but you may need a membership to get to the info.

    Comment by SC Taysom — June 11, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

  7. I checked and it hasn’t been posted to the AAR website yet.

    Congrats to Stan on getting a spot on the program. AAR is a very competitive conference–it’s tough to get accepted. Stan, if you are out there, in which section will you be presenting?

    Comment by SC Taysom — June 11, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  8. Thanks for posting this.

    Comment by jupiterschild — June 11, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  9. Thanks dudes. I’m in the Death, Dying, and Beyond Consultation, on Monday morning. Presenting on Marie Ogden and the Home of Truth: a little episode wherein a community member died but Marie refused to turn the body over to the county health officials: insisted she wasn’t dead, just sojourning on the other side of the veil.

    Konden Smith, at ASU, is also presenting. He’s in the North American Religions section, with Kathleen Flake moderating. He is presenting on the Romney GOP primaries and memory.

    Comment by stan — June 11, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  10. I got mine (or rather my wife’s) in the mail yesterday and I noticed that BYU was not holding its regular Saturday night social and was not, as a whole, represented very well among the participants. I think this might be due to the AAR/SBL split than begins this year. A lot of the LDS grad students and BYU faculty that fall into the biblical studies arena rather than Mormon studies might forgo AAR and attend SBL instead.

    Comment by AHLDuke — June 11, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  11. We’re showing _Nobody Knows_ at AAR. I don’t know if the “African Americans and the LDS Church” refers to us or there’s something else as well.

    Comment by Margaret Young — June 12, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  12. Margaret: There is another session on “African Americans and the LDS Church” other than yours.

    I do look forward to hearing their reaction to the documentary.

    Comment by Ben — June 12, 2008 @ 10:12 am


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