This post is merely designed to be a catch-all for recent Mormon history-related news. Please feel free to add anything I missed in the comments.
- The big buzz this morning is the release of the Pew Forum’s new study on Mormons in America. There have been excellent commentary on the results here, here, and here (just to link to a few), as well as a cordial response from LDS PR man Michael Otterson and a supportive write-up from the LDS Newsroom. Make sure to follow the live-blogging on the Pew’s conference call with the media over at BCC. Our own Matt Bowman is on the advisory panel for the survey, and will be writing up his thoughts later.
- As highlighted in Jared’s write-up, the Church announced today that Elder Jensen will be stepping down as Church Historian in October, to be replaced by Elder Steven E. Snow. All accounts of Elder Snow thus far are glowing, but he will have some huge shoes to fill since Elder Jensen has become a hero in many people’s eyes (including my own). Make sure to go offer your appreciation to a modern-day hero on Jared’s post.
- Matt Bowman’s forthcoming The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (Random House) is now available on Google Books, and should be released in two weeks. It’s a phenomenal book, and is already getting rave reviews.
- The first volume of Women of Faith in the Latter Days is now available, and looks phenomenal. Ardis’s review of it made me even more excited about finally getting my hands on a copy.
- Plans are continuing to come together for MHA’s 2012 conference in Alberta, Canada. Make sure to plan early, as plane tickets can be pretty expensive. Those who wish to do the scenic tours to and from Calgary (looks like a blast) need to RSVP ASAP. Also, if you haven’t heard yet, Glenn Leonard has been elected President-Elect for the organization, which is a fitting tribute to a great historian. And finally, the Journal of Mormon History has a new online home at the Utah State University website, where all issues prior to 2009 can be downloaded. (Also, rumor has it that MHA will be launching a newly-designed and more user-friendly website sometime soon.)
- The Restoration Studies Symposium will hold its annual meeting April 13-15, 2012, in Independence, Missouri. The deadline for paper submissions is January 31, 2012. Those wishing to submit papers, with the theme “American Restorationism,” must include a “300-word abstract of your proposal with a 100-word biographical introduction” to rssapril2012 AT yahoo DOT com.
Also some fantastic symposia coming up that shouldn’t be missed. (It’s times like these I hate living so far away.)
- On February 3-4, there is a Mormonism and American Politics conference taking place in NYC, sponsored by The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public life. Speakers include our own Matt Bowman and Max Mueller, as well as heavyweights Claudia and Richard Bushman, Randall Balmer, David Campbell, Joanna Brooks, Sally Gordon, and Jan Shipps. Boy I wish I could attend.
- That same weekend, Nauvoo will (logically) play host to “Untold Nauvoo Stories.” Looks like a fun time, including presentations from walking-encyclopaedias Lachlan McKay and Joseph Johnstun. Scott Esplin and Bryon Andreason should also give stellar papers.
- On February 24-25th, The Foundation for Religious Diplomacy is hosting “At the Crossroads, Again: Mormon & Methodist Encounters in the 19th and 21st Centuries,” held in Washington DC. Speakers on Mormonism include our own Christopher Jones as well as Kristine Haglund, Senator Bob Bennett, David Cambpell (he’s getting a lot of (well deserved) pub lately), Kathleen Flake, Terryl Givens, Matthew Holland, and Warner Woodworth.
- At BYU on March 1-2 will be “Exploring Mormon Conceptions of Apostasy.” Lots of great names there, including our own Chris Jones, Steve Fleming, and Matt Bowman.
- The Organization of American Historians holds its annual meeting late in April, this year in Milwaukee. Relevant presentations include our own Max Mueller on “William McCary’s Ventriloquism during the Mormon Exodus (1846-47)” (Max’s work on race in Mormonism is top-notch and long-waited for) as well as a presentation from the JSP on “Bridging the Gap Between the Academy and the Public: The Joseph Smith Papers Documentary Editing Project” (which includes our own Rob Jensen). Both look stupendous.
Things are bright in Mormon studies!