MSSA visits BCC

Michael McBride arranged for a panel of MSSA members to answer questions on By Common Consent, one of the most widely read Mormon-oriented blogs.  You can see the first part of this discussion here.

Mormon Media Studies Interest Group Listserve


The Mormon Media Studies Interest Group was formed 26 February 2009 by a group of faculty members in the Department of Communications at Brigham Young University. The group’s e-mail distribution list was launched 9 March 2009. It moved to a listserve format on 28 April 2009.

The group recognizes the centrality of the media to the Mormon experience, historically and in the present, and acknowledges the unique contribution that can be made to Mormon studies by focusing on media from a wide range of academic perspectives.

Specific objectives of the group include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. to create a global community of scholars and professionals who have an interest in Mormon Media Studies, including: contemporary and historical media coverage and representation of Mormons and the LDS Church; Mormon media history; the intersection between media and Mormon culture; the embrace and use of media technologies by the LDS Church and its members; Mormon –produced messaging and public relations; the Mormon blogosphere, etc.;
  2. to facilitate communication among those who are interested in participating in an on-going conversation about Mormons and the media, and to share information and current events about this topic, including related academic research;
  3. to encourage scholarship in the field of Mormon Media Studies; to generate research questions; to facilitate collaboration among group members; and to identify outlets (refereed journals and conventions) for publication and presentation of scholarship relating to this topic.

The interest group is just in its beginning stages. As we find our way, we may expand beyond the listserve format to a blog or some other means of communication.
If you are interested in participating in this community of scholars, we welcome you. Also, if you know of others who might be interested, please invite them first to assess their interest. To be added to the list, newcomers should send an e-mail to Sherry Baker ( with an indication of name and e-mail contact information.

Mormon Studies Fellowship at the University of Utah

The Tanner Humanities Center is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation for $36,000 to establish the Eccles Fellowship in Mormon Studies.  The award has been designated to support two doctoral students in researching and writing their dissertations ($18,000 stipend for each), one in 2009 and one in 2010. This fellowship targets Ph.D. candidates across the United States and the world who are researching the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its members, and Mormon culture in the fields of History, Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Economics, Business, Political Science, Religion, or Literature. Through publications, work in the classroom, and in public forums, these future academics, writers, and teachers will have an impact on the study of Mormonism and on students and the general population.

This fellowship is the first in the United States and the world to focus specifically on Mormon Studies.  In offering this opportunity at the University of Utah, the Center recognizes the important and unrivaled archival resources for research located in Salt Lake City and Utah.  It also begins to redress the imbalance of opportunities facing those who choose to study Mormonism as opposed to Judaism, Catholicism, or Islam.  This fellowship will also enhance the recent trend that seeks to raise Mormon Studies to a new standard of academic excellence.

For application forms and requirements please visit

For more information, see the Salt Lake Tribune’s article on the fellowship.

MSSA serves as expert source for news story on polygamist raid

The Mormon Social Science Association was contacted by a foreign reporter looking for someone knowledgeable about polygamy from a social scientific perspective.  The reporter was directed to Michael Nielsen, a long-time MSSA member who is currently doing research on polygamy.  Michael Nielsen’s thoughts on the developing story were incorporated into the news article, which is available here.  This is a great illustration of how the MSSA website is reaching out to a broader audience to share the knowledge and expertise of the membership.