Working Papers in Mormon Studies Announcement

Inspired by Taylor Petrey’s “Mormon Perspectives Series” in Boston, we propose a similar tradition for the Wasatch Front, called “Working Papers in Mormon Studies.” Our goal is to provide a collegial venue for feedback on and discussion of scholarship-in-progress in Mormon Studies.

We propose to meet monthly or bimonthly, beginning in March 2009. A working paper will be distributed electronically 2-4 weeks before a meeting for review by participants. At the actual meeting, the author will discuss (not present) the paper for 10-15 minutes, outlining fundamental arguments, areas in need of improvement, and questions for the audience. The ensuing 60 minutes will be devoted to discussion and feedback. If participants desire, they can provide marked-up copies to the author. Visitors to Salt Lake City who wish to present a working paper will also be welcomed and attempts will be made to accommodate them in terms of schedule. We are also investigating the possibility of using teleconferencing technology to extend participation, though this has not yet been finalized.

By working papers we mean primarily drafts of conference papers, book chapters, and papers intended for journals. By Mormon Studies we mean engagement of themes, narratives, people, and concepts related to Mormonism broadly conceived.

We are planning the first meeting at the University of Utah (accessible via TRAX) but will be open to other proposals for later meetings, depending on the needs of participants. We have not yet determined which day of the week to hold these but anticipate that it would be after the dinner hour.

All are welcome to attend and participate. While we are open to a variety of viewpoints, we do require of all participants respect for each other and respect for the subject of inquiry.

Questions regarding the Working Papers series, as well as plans to participate (we will create a limited email list to disseminate papers and information), should be addressed to We welcome submissions of working papers for discussion at the same address.

Sam Brown and Paul Reeve


  1. Who knew that when the U’s 1950s era “Swearing Elders” group was resurrected, its perfected form and name would be “Working Papers in Mormon Studies?”
    I hope to be able to drive up to be at the actual discussion, but I like the idea of having the teleconference option.

  2. Excellent news. Good job, Sam and Paul.

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