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Announcing The 2023 Research Fellows

The University of Virginia Mormon Studies Program is pleased to announce the 2023 Library Research Fellows and their corresponding research interests.

Nicholas Austin
Phd Candidate
Florida State University

Research Interests: How late nineteenth- and early twentieth century Latter-day Saints constructed and materialized their identities through paper. More specifically, how material-textual objects such as Deseret alphabet primers, missionary journals, family records, and Utahn postcards offered spaces within which Church leaders and everyday Saints mediated their identities.

Joseph Stuart
Post-doctoral fellow
Brigham Young University

Research Interests: How the logic and effect of the Latter-day Saint race restrictions on priesthood were not only gendered and sexed but also transnational and global; and how this relates to the nineteenth-century origin of the restrictions.

David Walker
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests: How early 20th century wrestling ring performers, promoters, and fans played off each other, negotiating new understandings of religion in and for the modern era; and how religious institutions—in this case, the Church of Jesus Church of Latter-day Saints—tracked with such negotiations as part of their own public image work. Demonstrating how different religious personae “played out” in different times and different places will delineate the parallelism between professional wrestling and the Church itself, as both moved from predominantly regional, mainly western circuits to national- and global stature.