Articles & News Items
Have you read something in Mormon history that was particularly noteworthy this year? Though the submission deadline for MHA awards is a few months away, now is the time to start considering who the association should recognize at our annual conference in Boise. We are anxious to highlight quality books, articles, and graduate work—with dedicated and talented people on each committee—but we are dependent on members pointing us in the right direction.
Please visit MHA’s website to see the different awards and their particular criteria. Particularly with the article categories, you do not have to be the author to submit an entry. Some authors are overly shy, and the awards committee is not omnipresent, so we appreciate help. Was there an article in Journal of Mormon History, or any other venue, that seemed especially worthy of notice? Please submit it.
Also, a note to professors: do you have, or do you know, graduate students whose work deals with Mormonism? Please encourage them to submit their work to our dissertation, thesis, and unpublished paper awards.
Please send inquiries and nominations to the following:
Book awards—Tona Hangen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article awards—Sheree Bench: email@example.com
Graduate student work awards—Matt Godfrey: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had yet another banner year for publishing in Mormon history, as reflected in the awards granted by at the annual conference in June. The quality and quantity of scholarship on Mormonism seems to increase every year.
Tom Simpson received the Best Book award for his provocative and compelling American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940 (University of North Carolina Press). This monograph adds nuance to the typical “Americanization” story frequently placed upon the Progressive Era by examining the men and women who attended universities in the East. Shinji Takagi, winner of the Best International Book Award for The Trek East: Mormons Meet Japan, 1901-1968 (Kofford Books), centers his account in the lives of the Japanese, reversing the usual narrative that focuses on American missionaries.
As 2017 comes to and end, we invite you to remember MHA in your year-end gift giving plans. Your financial support is vital in helping MHA continue its dynamic legacy for generations to come. You can support MHA in two ways: First, please DONATE , above and beyond your current membership level. Second, reach out to your friends and colleagues who share an interest in the vast heritage of Mormon history and invite them to join MHA .
Excitement is building as we prepare for our next conference in Boise, Idaho, this coming year. Idaho has a rich Mormon history dating back to 1855 with the attempt to establish Fort Lemhi. We invite you to help make this “Gem State” conference one of our largest by attending, bringing a friend, and supporting MHA financially.
MHA is striving to increase its international outreach to allow new scholars to participate in our conferences and submit their work to the journal. If opening doors internationally is appealing to you, please donate today and help make this dream conceivable for many worthy international scholars.
Working together we will continue to make MHA the preeminent scholarly organization in Mormon history and Mormon studies. For questions, or to discuss your donation plans, please contact Rob Racker, MHA’s Executive Director, Mike Paulos, MHA Board Member, or Bradley Petersen, MHA’s Fundraising Consultant. We look forward to your year end gift and to seeing you in Boise!
We wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
Mike Paulos, MHA Board member for Finance and Fundraising
“One part of MHA that I love, especially as an international participant, is getting the chance to see friends and colleagues that I haven’t seen in years.”
-Brooke Kathleen Brassard, University of Waterloo,
‘I benefitted from an interaction with a family historian when they told me they had recently found some records of a person central to my research in their family papers at home. Additionally, a longtime employee of the Church History Library pointed me to some interesting sources in the Church’s archive he felt were underused. All of these experiences are typical of MHA; indeed, the best part of MHA is the variety of people who attend ranging from longtime academics in the field to hobby historians and everyone in-between.”
-Hannah Jung, Brandeis University
Here is a few more testimonials from those who attended MHA in 2017 with Student Travel assistance, which are made possible through your MHA donations :
“This was the first time that I presented a paper at an academic conference and I found the opportunity exhilarating. It allowed me to share my research and receive feedback on my initial arguments.”
-Lori Motzkus Wilkinson, University of Utah
“I was incredibly moved by the power of the women historians in the room and was reminded of how important our part is in telling the Mormon story. I enjoyed a discernible sense of community among all of the historians and students I met there, and I left feeling inspired because I knew I was not alone.”
-Jessica Nelson, Utah State University
“Homelands and Bordered Lands” will be the theme for the fifty-third conference of the Mormon History Association, to be held June 7-10, 2018, in Boise, Idaho. This theme raises questions about how borders can both disrupt and generate ideas about individuals’ and communities’ “homes,” broadly construed. It highlights the ways in which the dynamic interactions between peoples, places, and identities have always been central to Mormon histories. The details of the confernce will be published and registration will be opening in late February 2018. Watch your emails from MHA.
Please see the full Call for Papers HERE
Charles S. Peterson (1927-2017)
We note the passing on May 10th and celebrate the life and work of a notable Mormon scholar, Charles S. “Chas” Peterson. Born in a small community on the Little Colorado River in Arizona, he echoed many other residents of small towns when he noted later about his childhood home, “I was both bored stiff with Snowflake and loved it profoundly.” Although it took him a while to discover his calling in life, he was a historian at heart.
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