This past year was an important one in the development of the University of Virginia’s Mormon Studies program. We thank you for your interest and your support of our initiatives! Below is a review of our 2017 milestones and continuing programming:
- We welcomed our first Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Mormon Studies, Katy Mohrman, who has been teaching courses on Mormonism, race and gender.
- We recently posted the Mormon Studies Postdoctoral position for the 2018-2019 postdoctoral fellowship. See the posting here and please share it freely.
- We held our third annual Joseph Smith Lecture on Religious Freedom at the Jefferson Rotunda in September. Former Chair of the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom Katrina Lantos-Swett lectured on “Religious Freedom in a Time of Radicalization.”
- We hosted a panel discussion on “Cooperation Between Religious Organizations and State Agencies: the Case of Refugee Resettlement.” We were honored to have as discussants: Barbara Day, U.S. Department of State Chief of Domestic Resettlement, Sharon Eubank, LDS Church, Director of LDS Charities and Humanitarian Services, Michael Kessler, Managing Director of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center, and Anwar Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief USA.
- Professor Kathleen Flake, Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies at UVA, represented the program in several venues:
- Fudon University, Center for American Studies, Shanghai, China “The Character of American Religious Liberty.’
- Fifth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture, Indianapolis IN “Religious Studies “Categories and Interpretation.”
- J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Arizona State’s Sandra Day O’Connor Law School, “Polygamy’s Longue Durée.”
- UC Santa Barbara’s Religious Studies Department “Women’s Ordination in Catholicism and Mormonism.”
- UVA Christian Law Society on Reed Smoot Hearings and the Shaping of 20th Century Mormonism
- BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute, on “Learning by Study, Even Religious Studies
- PBS’s American Forum “Why do we believe in religious freedom?”
- Workshop for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders
- UVA’s Miller Center and Monticello on “The State of Religious Freedom Around the World”
- We launched an enhanced website, which features our own program but also hosts a dynamic Resources section for researchers and for the public. We continuously add unique content to the site, as well as curate existing sources for study and for teaching. Some highlights from the site are detailed below:
- In Interviews with Mormon Studies Scholars, we feature a large collection of video interviews conducted by Prof. Flake with prominent scholars in 2016. James Faulconer, Terryl Givens, Matthew Grow, Kate Holbrook, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Ann Taves, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and Grant Wacker comment on potential research topics, on Joseph Smith, on their own academic paths and research discoveries, as well as guidance for young scholars.
- Our Sources for Study include lists of classic texts, noteworthy publications, journals, reference works, and digitized sources.
- One of the most exciting and unique areas of the site is our library of Mormon Studies-related Syllabi, to which professors from over a dozen universities have so far contributed. Our hope is not only to highlight what is happening at UVA, but to seed in other institutions the capacity to incorporate Mormon Studies into their courses and programs.
- Finally, the Archives for our annual Joseph Smith Lecture on Religious Freedom include research papers and full video content.
Keep an eye on our upcoming events in 2018, including guest Max Mueller discussing his book Race and the Making of the Mormon People in February, and Douglas Laycock delivering our annual Joseph Smith Lecture on Religious Liberty in September.
Thank you for your continuing support of the UVA Mormon Studies Program. For more information on how you can support the program, visit our Donate page. Find us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed of our ongoing research, events, website resources, and news.
Wishing you a happy new year!