In a couple of weeks, the Mormon History Association will be hosting its annual conference in Provo. It is $170 for the multi-day conference per person if you register by Tuesday. MHA also got special rates on the hotel ($99 a night plus ability to share rooms). I’ll be there to attend and present and I am involved with organization more broadly, but I don’t hesitate to say that MHA is the best source for information on Mormon History.
The program for the conference is now available. Perusing through, you’ll note that this is a step up from education week. We have scholars of all sorts. Some participants are at the pinnacle of academic achievement, others are just starting their careers. Some like me and a number of other familiar faces in the program are not academics, but enthusiastic amateurs. Everyone is interested in hearing and engaging cutting edge research and conclusions.
I’m looking forward to many particular speakers. Colleen McDannell’s plenary session on women, medicine, and religion at the turn of the twentieth century is going to be awesome. As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich described:
…topics range from fundamentalism to feminism, from brass bands to mapmaking, and from historical memory to the Hoffman forgeries. Paul Reeves discussion of “polyeroticity” will not doubt attract attention, as will Emily Petersen’s paper on correspondence between the LDS Relief Society and birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger. Vying for the most provocative titles are Janelle M. Higbee, of the LDS Church Historical Department with “From Hell to Happy Valley: The Taming of Provo” and David Walker, University of California Santa Barbara, on “Mormon Missionaries, Mormon Maulers: Performing World Religions in the Wrestling Ring,” D. Brent Smith, of NOAA Satellite and Information Service will consider “Taking Mormon History into All the World”—or beyond it as the case may be.
I’m participating in a panel with Amanda and Joseph from the JI on the topic of race. I’ll be talking about odd early Mormon sealings (and lack there of in particular cases). There are a number of panels similarly taking on issues of race. Women in Mormonism is also a prominent topic.
Also, I kid you not, there is going to be a Gold and Green Ball. Dancing. I hope they play Erasure and EMF. I plan on walking around with a Book of Mormon to separate the slow-dancers.
See you there.