Last year, MHA’s Face-to-Face mentorship event was a smashing hit, so we are bringing it back to this year’s conference! The purpose of this ninety-minute event is to facilitate conversations between applicants and experienced scholars of Mormon history. We are seeking applications from those interested in participating, whether as mentors or as students, independent researchers, non-traditional students, and so forth. Applicants can propose to talk to people about their research, career trajectories, digital humanities, publishing, and public history, and more! This is an amazing opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation and to receive specific advice about your unique place in the field of Mormon history.
For those seeking mentoring, use your application to describe your current research and interests in Mormon history. Who would you love to talk to and why? Or, if you are new to the field (or not sure who would best align with your interests), tell us about the conversation you’d like to have. Are you trying to think through a research problem? Figuring out how to take the next step to publish your book? Wondering how independent historians make it work? Exploring what’s next for you in the field?
In your application:
• Tell us who you are and what brings you to Mormon history (student, independent researcher, non-traditional student etc)
• Tell us about your research. What is your research project and the questions that drive it? What kind of historical sources and scholarship inform it?
• What do you hope to get out of this conversation? What problems are you hoping to brainstorm or solve?
• What is your career trajectory, what challenges do you face?
• Identify people in the field of Mormon history who would be helpful mentors and briefly state why. (Hint: check out the preliminary conference program w to see who will be at the conference)
Email applications to mha.face2face [at] gmail.com by May 5, 2019. Applications will be reviewed by members of the MHA Board. If you are interested in participating in this event as a mentor, please send us an email to the same address.
For more information please contact Hannah Jung at junghannah [at] gmail.com.
Kurt Manwaring has published an interview with historian Ignacio Garcia over on his site, From the Desk. Garcia earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Arizona and is Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Professor of Western & Latino History at Brigham Young University and is President Elect of the Mormon History Association. An excerpt from Manwaring’s site is posted below; click over to From the Desk to read the rest!
What are the most important changes MHA has made in the past decade and where do you hope to see the organization 10 years from now? What factors most influence the organization’s ability to realize the progress you envision?
The Mormon History Association is conducting a search for editor of the Journal of Mormon History. The editor of the journal determines the content, solicits submissions, oversees peer review, works with submitting authors in performing substantive and stylistic content editing, and coordinates with a JMH production staff and the University of Illinois Press to ensure that issues of the journal are published according to deadline and within budget. The editor has full editorial control of the journal but reports to the MHA board of directors in maintaining a high-quality product that serves as the flagship publication for the organization. The Mormon History Association is particularly interested in candidates with an academic institutional affiliation but will consider submissions by all qualified applicants.
The person chosen to be the editor will be appointed to a four-year term beginning in January 2020, renewable at the discretion of the MHA board of directors.
On April 12th and 13th (this coming weekend!) there is a festschrift/retirement event in celebration of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s illustrious career as a Pulitzer and Bancroft Prize winning historian. She joined the history department faculty at Harvard in 1995 and did incredible work to transform the university and mentor students there.
But, as many of us in the Mormon history world know, Laurel was not only prolific author and mentor in the Ivy League halls. She also helped to foster Mormon feminists and upcoming scholars in Mormon history. On April 13th, MHA’s executive director Barbara Jones Brown will be speaking about Laurel’s mentorship in the Mormon history community. She would love to have people send her their experiences with Laurel as a mentor in the Mormon history community. People can do so directly by emailing her (bjonesbrown [at} gmail [dot] com) or they can comment on this post with their experiences.
To get the ball rolling, I will start:
I first met Laurel at MHA in 2013. I had bought her book Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History and I decided to muster up the courage to ask her to sign it. She agreed and opened the book only to find that it was an already signed copy. Oops. I asked her to sign it again because I am an awkward human being.
In 2015, I moved to Boston and reintroduced myself (without mention of the first incident). I asked to audit her Harvard class on the family in American history and she graciously let me do so. This was the beginning of the mentorship relationship that I had with Laurel: she served as an anchor point for me in a vulnerable period for me as I was applying to PhD programs. I am certain that her letter of reference was one of the turning points that got me accepted into two history programs.
Yes, Laurel is a well-decorated historian and Harvard professor. But to me she modelled something beyond just that. During the MHA conference in 2013, I remember watching as she challenged one presenter during the Q&A about the specifics of the Nauvoo Relief Society minutes. Laurel always seemed to me to model a quiet confidence in her ideas and research. She was not afraid to challenge assumptions or prod someone to better articulate their ideas. Laurel managed to strike a fine balance between critical and supportive that we so often long for in mentors.
The Third Annual Meeting of The Book of Mormon Studies Association October 11–12, 2019 Utah State University
The Book of Mormon Studies Association (BoMSA) is pleased
to announce its third annual meeting, to be held October 11–12, 2019, at Utah
State University. The event is sponsored by USU’s Department of Religious
Studies and with thanks to both Philip Barlow and Patrick Mason, successive
occupiers of the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture.
This annual event gathers a variety of scholars invested
in serious academic study of the Book of Mormon. It has no particular theme but
instead invites papers on any subject related to the Book of Mormon from any
viable academic angle. This year’s two keynote speakers will be Paul Gutjahr
(Indiana University) and Amy Easton-Flake (Brigham Young University). We will
also hold a special book interview session with Community of Christ scholar
Dale E. Luffman.
We therefore invite the submission of papers and
proposals for inclusion in the 2019 conference program. Note that newcomers to
the organization are required to submit a full paper for consideration, while
those who have presented at either of the previous two conferences are free to
submit a proposal or a paper. Papers submitted should be no longer than 4000
words, while proposals should be between 500 and 750 words.
From our friends at the Joseph Smith Papers Project:
Call for Papers
“Joseph Smith’s Expanding Visions and the Practical Realities of Establishing Nauvoo.”
(September 1839-April 1842)
On 11 October 2019, the Joseph Smith Papers Project will host its third annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. As with past years, the 2019 conference will be held to celebrate the release of recent volumes–Documents 7, Documents 8, and Documents 9. These volumes reproduce high-quality transcriptions of Joseph Smith’s papers from September 1839 through April 1842. As noted in the call for papers:
Kurt Manwaring has published an interview with historian Sara Georgini over on his site, From the Desk. Georgini earned her Ph.D. in American History at Boston University and is a Series Editor for The Papers of John Adams at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Her most recent book, Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family, examines the religious lives of the Adams Family across several generations. An excerpt from Manwaring’s site (including a question about the Adams Family and Joseph Smith is posted below; click over to From the Desk to read the rest!
How was religion used to frame the successes and failures of John Adams’ political endeavors?
Thursday, June 6, 2019 the Fourth Annual Mormon Studies Publication Workshop
will be held at the University of Utah.
workshop helped to create a sense of community among young scholars from a
variety of places and disciplines while providing helpful feedback for
developing projects. Over the past three years, we have received dozens of
excellent submissions on race, gender, sexuality, and other historiographical
fields. Last year, at Boise State University, we hosted scholars from across
the United States California to Massachussetts. You can read more about the 2017
meeting at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at
Washington University in St. Louis here.
papers from the past three years have become parts of books published by (or
under contract with) Oxford University Press, University of Nebraska Press, and
Routledge University Press; the Journal
of Religion, the Journal of Mormon History,
Church History: Studies in Christianity
and Culture, completed dissertations, and other distinguished venues.
The workshop, “Writing: Strategies on How and When to Write,” will be held Thursday, June 6 from 10:00 AM AM-3:30 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.
I’ve spent a bit of time in the last month thinking about titles. I’m considering my own potential book titles, but also the titles of two books that I’m currently reviewing. When I got a copy of The Expanded Canon: Perspectives on Mormonism and Sacred Texts edited by Blair G. Van Dyke, Brain D. Birch, and Boyd. J. Petersen (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2018) I assumed I knew what it was about. Joseph Smith’s expansion on the Christian canon has been a lightning rod for attention since before he organized any church. I expected a focused consideration of Latter-day Saint expansions to the Christian canon: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Likewise, when I first saw Larry Morris’ Documentary History of the Book of Mormon (Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 2019), I made assumptions. I initially panicked wondering if his work overlapped too much with my own current Book of Mormon reception book project and then hoped that he laid out the publication history through documents so I didn’t have to sort it all out myself.
Ben S on 2020 Mormon History Association: “I’m going to be submitting something related to the Modernist/Fundamentalist controversy (early 20th century), probably centered around either Joseph Fielding Smith/hermeneutics or the LDS Church…”
Quincy D. Newell on 2020 Mormon History Association: “SLC 2019 was great, and I'm looking forward to Rochester 2020! Let's see if we can make 2020 the YEAR WITHOUT A MANEL--thanks for…”
J Stuart on Hark Lay Wales Grave: “This seems like an intentional misreading. Your offense at my raising concerns about the language used to discuss the lives and labor of enslaved people…”