New Perspectives on Joseph Smith and Translation

2018 Church History Symposium
2018 Church History Symposium

Business, Wealth, Enterprise, and Debt: The Economic Side of Mormon History, 1830–1930

March 1-2, 2018

In 1958, Leonard J. Arrington published Great Basin Kingdom, a seminal study in Mormon economic history. Arrington followed this work with several other studies pertaining to the economic history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of the State of Utah. Other scholars have examined in detail financial operations of the church in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, including explorations of the law of consecration (first revealed to Joseph Smith in 1831) and its implementation, enterprises such as the United Firm and the Kirtland Safety Society, and the economic impact of creating new communities throughout the Great Basin. Picking up where Arrington and others left off, there are new and exciting developments in the study of gender, society, race, and the environment that can enlighten the financial aspects of Mormon history.

The 2018 Church History Symposium will explore the intersection of finance and religion in the LDS Church between 1830 and 1930. In doing so, we hope that scholars will take a fresh look at Mormon history through the vantage point of economics and finance. We hope that this symposium will add to, complicate, or even revise portions of the standard economic history narratives mentioned above, while also exploring other areas of Mormon history through an economic and spiritual lens.

Papers could explore ways that financial records illuminate the history of the church and its members. How can such records broaden our understanding of women in the church? What was the financial impact of proselytizing missions on families? What was the financial side of plural marriage? How did economics play out in the internationalization of Mormonism, particularly in the funding of missions and temples? How did the church’s business interests in sugar, salt, cattle, and other industries impact Utah’s economy at the turn of the twentieth century? How did it impact ordinary church members, whether farmers, laborers, or financiers? How has access—or the lack thereof—to financial resources impacted members’ ability to serve in the church?

For more information see HERE

American Historical Association 2019 Annual Meeting - Call for Papers

AHA 2019 Annual Meeting Call for Papers

“Loyalties”: The 133rd Annual Meeting Theme and Call for Papers

Mary Beth Norton, Claire Bond Potter, and Brian W. Ogilvie, October 2017

Loyalty and disloyalty are forms of human attachment often associated with the history of politics. Yet loyalties function on multiple levels. Individually, or in groups, humans commit themselves to communities, loved ones, principles, a leader, a nation, a religion, an ideology, or an identity. Loyalties stabilize human society, undergird political and social hierarchies, promote courage and cowardice, disguise ethical lapses, and generate revolutions. The determination to maintain old loyalties or devise new ones can become a foundation for building nations, waging war, transforming and imagining new forms of human community, or defending institutions that maintain traditional ways of life.

Loyalties require communication, ritual, and imagery. They can be hegemonic or the outcome of powerful shifts in popular consciousness. Loyalties can also be disseminated through the propagation of ideas, or take the form of nostalgia, distracting from contemporary problems or complexities. Whether social, cultural, religious, economic, or political, loyalties can conceive a path to a utopian future, identifying those who are an impediment to that future as disloyal or as permanently loyal to an outsider group. Divided loyalties might also pose a problem: At what point, for example, can loyalty to party, faith, or community overwhelm loyalty to the nation?

We are interested in proposals that compare questions of conflicting or changing loyalties across time, space, and human experience—whether religious, ethnic, gendered, national, or otherwise—and how they have shaped trajectories of change. After a revolution, opponents of the new regime are often faced with a choice between swearing allegiance—thus betraying the values and leaders to whom they had promised loyalty—and imprisonment, exile, or execution. In contrast to such formal public dilemmas, loyalties that regulate private life can involve forms of expectation and obedience that are often unspoken, generationally specific, or resisted as archaic.

Electronic submission only, by midnight PST on February 15, 2018

Link to AHA Proposal submission page HERE or go to 

American Historical Association (AHA) 2018 Annual Meeting

Washington, DC, January 4-7, 2018

Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective