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.

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