The Juvenile Instructor is pleased to announce a new series that will become a regular feature of the blog. The series—Scholarly Inquiry—will consist of a series of questions addressed to a guest scholar and that person’s responses. Visiting scholars will include both Mormons and those from other faith traditions, as well as historians of Mormonism and those whose primary research interests focus on other subjects. The aim of Scholarly Inquiry is to involve a larger community of scholars in attempts to situate the Mormon experience in wider contexts and new and innovative ways.
Occasionally, we will solicit questions from readers. When we do so, we will select 3-5 questions proposed by readers and add 3-5 of our own. We are delighted to announce that such is the case today. Our first “visiting scholar” is Mark Ashurst-McGee:
Mark is a historian and documentary editor with the Joseph Smith Papers Project. He has degrees from BYU (BA), USU (MA), and ASU (PhD), with training in early and modern U.S. history, Latin American history, and religious history. His MA thesis, which won MHA’s distinguished Best Thesis award, treats Joseph Smith’s transition from a village seer to a Judeo-Christian prophet, while his PhD dissertation (which won MHA’s Best Dissertation award recently), examines Joseph Smith’s Zion project in the context of the world’s first modern democracy and republic. Mark has also trained at the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. He has sixteen years of experience in primary research projects in early Mormon history and six years professional documentary editing experience. He is a published editor of early Mormon documents and the author of several peer-reviewed articles. Mark is a devout Latter-day Saint who loves his wife Angela Ashurst-McGee and his five little kids. He desires to summit Windom, Kilimanjaro, Chimborazo, and Mauna Loa before he dies.
We invite you to propose questions you would like to ask Dr. Ashurst-McGee as comments below. Please keep questions generally focused on the scholarly study of Mormonism, Mark’s own research interests and projects, and other related issues. Thanks for your participation!