Please join the JI in welcoming our newest guest blogger, Russell, who offers the following introduction:
Friends, as a BYU-grad turned disenchanted academic in the “dark and bloody ground” of Kentucky, I greet you with all the warmth that an academic is capable of having. I am currently finishing my M.A. degree at the University of Kentucky under the direction of Lien-Hang Nguyen (emphasis in U.S. foreign policy) and will be pursuing my Ph.D. this coming fall at Ohio University with Chester Pach as my adviser. I have focused on the U.S. relationships with South/Southeast Asia–another predictable side benfit of the mission (how many white dudes can say they speak an obscure tribal language from the moutains of Laos?). Yet Mormon history was my first love. I am a card-carrying member of the faith, though I often run in rather edgy theological circles if only to serve as the perfunctory voice of conservative Mormon theology (is there such a thing?). I suppose I agree with G.K .Chesterton: “I like getting into hot water; it keeps me clean.”In all sincerity, I look forward to joining in the fray. Let the games begin!