August 28, 2015

Call for Papers:

Race, Gender, and Power on the Mormon Borderlands
Announcement published by Dee Garceau on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Date: October 15, 2015

Subject Fields:
African American History / Studies, Canadian History / Studies, Native American History / Studies, U.S. - Mexico Borderlands, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Race, Gender, and Power in the Mormon Borderlands
Mormon history lies at the borders between subaltern and dominant cultures. On the one hand, due to their unusual family structure and theocratic government, Mormons were a persecuted minority for the better part of the nineteenth century. On the other, Mormons played a significant role as colonizers of the North American West, extending their reach to the borderlands of Mexico, Canada, and the Pacific Islands. There Mormon colonists intermarried with Native Americans, Mexicans, Hawaiians and Samoans, even as they placed exclusions on interracial sexual relations and marriage. During the nineteenth century, Mormons also discouraged Native peoples’ polygamous practices while encouraging plural marriage for white women. And for the better part of the twentieth century, Mormon religious doctrine subordinated persons of color within church hierarchy. African-American men, for example, could not hold the priesthood until 1978. Historically, then, Mormons have navigated multiple borders-- between colonizer and colonized, between white and Other, and between minority and imperial identities. This limnal position calls for further investigation. We propose an anthology of essays about race, gender, and power in the Mormon borderlands.
Over the past thirty years, historians of Mormon women have expanded our understanding of gender and power in Mormon society. However, most of these studies focus on white Mormon women, while Mormon women of color have remained largely invisible. This volume seeks not simply to make visible the lived experiences of Mormon women of color, but more importantly, to explore gender and race in the Mormon borderlands. Taken together, these essays will address how Mormon women and men navigated the complications of minority and colonizer status, interracial marriage and doctrinal race hierarchies, patriarchy and female agency, vigilante violence and religious responsibility, and plural identities. These metaphoric borders were brought into play on the geographic and cultural borders of the United States. Specifically, this volume will encompass the continental U.S. West, the borderlands of Canada and Mexico, and Pacific Rim islands such as Samoa and Hawaii, from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. A focus on intersectionality in the borderlands promises to open new directions for Mormon history in concert with recent trends in western history. 

The anthology will be co-edited by Dee Garceau, Rhodes College,, Andrea Radke-Moss, Brigham Young University-Rexburg,, and Sujey Vega, Arizona State University, . Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have. 

Please send your article abstract or manuscript as an email attachment by October 15, 2015 to Dee Garceau , phone: 901-484-1837.

Contact Email:

April 24, 2015

Job Announcement: VAP in American Religions @ University of Wyoming

The Religious Studies department at the University of Wyoming announces a one-year position in American religions at the rank of Visiting Assistant Professor or instructor, beginning in August 2015.  Responsibilities include five undergraduate-level courses over the academic year, with at least one of these taught online.

Required qualifications: Ph.D. in Religious Studies or related discipline, or evidence of imminent completion of the degree; demonstrated expertise in American religions.

Preferred qualifications: Specialization in religion in the American West; ample experience in undergraduate teaching.

To apply: Submit a cover letter and CV, as email attachments to:  Please include names and contact information for three recommenders in cover letter.

Review of applications begins May 5, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled.

Direct any inquiries regarding this position to Quincy D. Newell,

The full job ad can be found here.

The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy.  Please see

We conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of the background check.

April 20, 2015

OAH Presidential Address: On Social Amnesia and Neutrality as Public Performance

This past weekend Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, delivered the presidential address at the OAH 2015 annual meeting. Her address, "Historians as Public Intellectuals: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, Seen from the Interior" considered how historians can help society avoid amnesia.

To revive the profession and its place in American culture, Limerick encouraged members of the Organization of American Historians to think less about professors and the academy and more about the story, or stories, that bring life to their work. Limerick used herself as an example of a historian who lived the kind transition she is encouraging: moving from an early career scholar focused on speaking to her field (with monographs like Legacy of Conquest) to a historian who speaks to a larger public audience about the importance of historical context (writing briefs for Congress, hosting public events and forums through the Center of the American West, and applying historical methods to endeavors other writing books).  In both kinds of efforts, Limerick sees her role as supplying historical perspective in order to better understand and shape the future. Rather than detract from her role or status as a scholar, Limerick argues that her work engaging the public brings greater credibility to her scholarship and enhances her purpose as a historian.

Limerick's speech is well timed as as the April 2015 issue of Perspectives on History also considers the current state of the profession. Perspectives provide a roundtable on a related concern: "History as a Book Discipline. It's worth reading after watching the entire presidential address, which can be found here courtesy of History News Network. 

April 13, 2015

Meet Me in St. Louis

Daniel Schwen, "St. Louis on the Mississippi River by night," January 27, 2008.
 The 2015 meeting of the Organization of American Historians is coming up this weekend: April 16-19.  (The program can be found here.) The theme is this year is "Taboos" with panels that promise to discuss "what historians miss when we avoid topics that have come to be regarded as taboo."

Readers of Religion in the American West will not be disappointed. Here's a brief round up of panels that may be of interest.

Thursday, April 16, 12:00-1:30PM
Citizenship, Nationhood, and Power in Indian Country

Constitutional Law and History or Constitutional Law in History

Friday, April 17 9:00-10:30AM

The Civil War Era and the American West: Unifying Concepts for Scholars, Students, and Museum Goers

Tradition and Taboo in Asian American History

Writing U.S. History: The View from Mexico

Friday, April 17 10:50AM-12:20PM

New Directions in Asian American History
Indigenous Perceptions of Nineteenth Century Treaty Making

Friday, April 17 1:50PM-3:20PM

State of the Field: 19th Century Indigenous and American Indian History

Challenges of Indigenous Women’s and Gender History

Saturday, April 18, 9:00AM-10:30AM

Looking North and West: New Directions in the Study of Free African Americans

The Limits of Freedom: Labor, Violence, and Coercion in the American West
Saturday, April 18, 10:50AM-12:20PM 

Rediscovering the Lost World of Midwestern History

Sex, Religion, and the Outlaw Teachers: Taboo Topics in the History of American Education

Saturday, April 18, 1:50PM-3:20PM

Indigenous Rights and Resistance in Alaska (Twentieth Century)

Memorializing Massacres in the American West
Radical Political HIstories of the Midwest

Saturday, April 18, 5:15PM

Presidential Address: Historians as Public Intellectuals: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, Seen from the Interior
In addition to the panels, St. Louis includes plenty of opportunity for research. According to St. Louis Public Radio, the Missouri History Museum holds the largest collection of Native American artifacts outside the Native American Museum in Washington, D.C. "St. Louis is Rich With Art Collections of the American West" gives other suggestions for research as well, like Washington University's Kemper Art Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum (which has the memorable url

March 3, 2015

AAR Deadline Extension

The AAR has performed its annual ritual of extending the deadline for paper proposals (until Wednesday, March 4, at 4:59 pm EST).

It's not too late to submit yours to the Religion in the American West group!

Call for Papers:

Proposals for individual papers or a full session are solicited on the following topics:

• The wielding and negotiation of power and authority in religious contexts in the North American West. Specifically, we seek papers that critically interrogate the various and distinctive forms religious authority has taken in the American West, and the consequences of the exercise of that authority. Possible areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, discussions of power in relation to land disputes, religious groups and governmental entities, institutional vs. popular religious practices, and the establishment and maintenance of religious authority in the West. Topics for papers should not only be situated in the North American West but should also deal significantly with unique aspects of the region or novel analytical approaches. Papers for this session will be precirculated.

• The post-1965 religious and ethnic demographic changes and realities in the North American West (for a possible co-sponsored session).

• The history and impact of Asian religions and the religions of Asian Americans in the Pacific Rim and the North American West (for possible quad-sponsorship with the Buddhism in the West Group, the Japanese Religions Group, and the North American Hinduism Group).