22nd Annual Arrington Lecture – Patty Limerick

Patricia Nelson Limerick will be giving the 22nd Annual Arrington Lecture on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 7 p.m.  Her talk will be titled: “Hair-Raising Tales from the Department of the Interior: A Report from the Front Lines of the Battle Against Boredom”

Please see this flyer for more information.


2016 MORMON MEDIA STUDIES SYMPOSIUM: Mormonism and Global Media




Theme: Mormonism and Global Media

Conference site: BYU Hawai‘i campus in Lā‘ie, Hawai‘i

Conference date: November 3 & 4, 2016

Proposal submissions due July 1, 2016 (early submission strongly encouraged)

Symposium website: http://mormonmediastudies.weebly.com/

Sponsored by Department of International Cultural Studies and the College of Language, Culture and Arts, BYU Hawai‘i

Mormonism grows in a world with a variety of religion-society and religion-media relationships. Its historical, cultural, social, and political insertions into host countries may differ significantly from place to place. Thus Mormonism’s treatment by the media, its attempts to publicize itself through the media, and its members’ use of media technologies in religiously relevant ways—to name a few types of relationships with the media—may differ significantly from U.S. Mormon-media patterns. A conference on Mormonism and media surveys the current situation, raises new questions, and encourages new conversations about a globally growing religion and the part media play in particular cultures.

Submission of Paper and Panel Proposals

Academics, professionals, and students are invited to submit competitive papers or panel proposals about any aspect of Mormons and the media. Papers and panels may be broadly interdisciplinary; international perspectives are strongly encouraged; all rigorous scholarly methodological frameworks and theories are welcome. Submissions should be either full papers (preferred; approx. 6,000–8,000 words, with 100-word abstract) or extended abstracts (approx. 500 words). Proposals for audio and/or visual presentations (including short films) with rigorous analysis are welcome. Papers recently presented or published elsewhere may be considered (please provide details).

Examples of topics include but are not limited to:

  • Analyses of media content by or about Mormons (textual, rhetorical, thematic, etc.) in various cultures
  • Mormon-produced media (contemporary, historical, international, etc.): Internet, social media, newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, film, etc.
  • Content, producers, and effects of recent and historical depictions of Mormons in news and popular culture
  • Mormons, media & politics, U.S. and international
  • Mormon media uses and effects, including social media
  • Mormon media images and depictions (contemporary & historical)
  • Concepts of voice, identity, and community in media by or about Mormons
  • Content and effects of LDS public relations, advertising, messaging
  • Audience studies: meaning-making, effects, responses, influences, behavior and attitudinal changes
  • Institutional LDS perspectives on media: responses and effects
  • Mormons as media creators, producers, publishers, inventors, disseminators, editors, writers, etc.; or others in these categories who have produced LDS-related media or content
  • Mormon-related film, TV programming, reality show participation, etc.
  • Comparative studies (Mormons and media as compared to other religions or institutions)
  • Historical, sociological, literary, rhetorical, legal, international, psychological, etc. perspectives on Mormons and media
  • Mormon-related entertainment, theater, music, and popular culture productions

Papers presented at the symposium will be given special consideration, at authors’ discretion, for publication in the Journal of Media and Religion.

Paper, panel, and presentation proposals must be submitted by July 1, 2016 in Word or PDF format as an email attachment to Dr. Chiung Hwang Chen at chenc@byuh.edu or Dr. Daniel Stout at daniel.stout@byuh.edu. Early submission and registration are strongly encouraged. For more information, please visit the symposium website at http://mormonmediastudies.weebly.com/

Joanna Brooks giving the Glenn M. Vernon lecture

The MSSA sponsors the Glenn M. Vernon lecture every other year at the SSSR meetings.  This year, the Glenn M. Vernon lecture will be given by Joanna Brooks, Professor of English and Comparative Studies and the Associate Dean of Graduate and Research Affairs at San Diego State University.  Her talk will be titled: What Forty Years of Mormon Feminism Teaches Us About the Study of Women in Religion: An Intellectual Agenda for the Next Forty Years.  The talk will be October 24th at 7:30 pm in the Grand Pacific Ballroom C at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.

20th Annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture

The 20th Annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture has just been announced:

Title: Heroes and Hero Worship: Brigham Young and the Utah War

Speaker: Ronald W. Walker

Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014, 7 p.m.

Location: Logan LDS Tabernacle, 50 N. Main, Logan, Utah

Summary: How do men and women shape history? Do human values have a role in the writing of history? At a time when the so-called New Mormon history appears to be running its course (after occupying center stage for the past half century), it may be time to rethink our approaches. Can the use of narrative biography and the expression of human values bring new understanding to Utah and Mormon history? The Utah War is an ideal opportunity to test these suppositions. The event has an intriguing cast of characters, with Mormon leader Brigham Young certainly among them. Along the way, we will discuss other questions. How soon did Mountain Meadows begin to shape events? What were constitutional theories behind Mormon resistance to the Utah Expedition? Did Mormons support the war effort? The Utah War also asks an important moral question. When and why men and women should fight a war?

Announcement here.

A House Full of Females: Faith and Family in Nineteenth-Century Mormon Diaries – Glenn Vernon Lecture at SSSR 2013

If you need another reason to attend the 2013 Society for the Scientific Study of Religion meetings in Boston, where the MSSA also meets, attending the Glenn Vernon Lecture is a pretty good one.  The Glenn Vernon Lecture will be given by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, the Pulitzer-prize winning author and Harvard scholar.  Her lecture is titled, “A House Full of Females: Faith and Family in Nineteenth-Century Mormon Diaries.”  It promises to be an excellent presentation.

Mormon Media Studies Symposium 2012

We invite you to the Mormon Media Studies Symposium 2012 on November 8 – 9 at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, UT. The symposium is dedicated to fostering the academic study of all aspects of Mormons and the media, past and present. This year there will be a special focus on what has been called the ‘Mormon Moment’ and the media.

The 2012 symposium theme – “Mormon Moment(s) and the Media” – was inspired by Newsweek magazine’s June 2011 cover story, entitled: “THE MORMON MOMENT.”  The two-day conference will feature academic paper presentations and panel discussions by expert scholars and media practitioners on a wide variety of topics including: Media coverage of religion, Mormonism and Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign; the “I’m a Mormon” advertising campaign; Book of Mormon Musical; media literacy and media use in LDS families; Internet use and blogging by Mormons; LDS musicians, music, radio, and television; and much more.

The symposium is free and no pre-registration is required.  If you would like to pre-order lunch, please call (801) 422-7692.  I invite you to view the schedule here or see the attached flyer. You may also visit the symposium website for more information.