A Busy Week for “Race and the Making of the Mormon People”

I haven’t really even caught up with the events of last week. But I want to take a quick moment and write about this week’s busy schedule for Race and the Making of the Mormon People.

Tomorrow I fly to Utah to give four lectures in two days.

Wednesday’s itinerary:

FIRST will be a brown bag lunch discussion at BYU’s Maxwell Institute. I’m so glad to be hosted by my friend and mentor J. Spencer Fluhman. I’ll also get to see great friends at BYU and from that other university in Utah!

The title of the discussion will be “The Many Histories of Jane Manning James OR What We Talk about When We Talk about ‘Rape.'”

This is a difficult and complex topic, one that I hope to revisit in a more formal setting about the powerful lessons that I’ve learned even since the publication of the book. The biggest lesson is about the difference between the “history” that we “historians” do and the “living history” that friends are engaged in–especially friends (and yes, I hope I am a “friend“)–who speak to the capital “T” truth about race, gender, power, and sexuality in the history in Mormonism and in American history more broadly. (See this thread from @SistasinZion for an introduction to what I mean. I’m so grateful to Zandra and Tamu for their generosity. I look forward to the chance to hear what they think of the book itself).

I will also be sitting down to record an episode for the Maxwell Institute’s podcast with Blair Hodges. 

SECOND, I’ll be presenting at a BYU faculty seminar. The title of that talk will be “Reading Lessons in Black and White: Race, Literacy, and the Making of the Mormon People,” which is a version of my book “stump speech.”

THIRD, I’ll be reading and talking about the book at Writ & Vision in Provo. The title of that talk is still TBA. But I’m honored that Moroni Benally has agreed to provide a response to the book.

FOURTH, on Thursday, I’ll be presenting to the LDS Church Public Affair’s office and scholars in the Church History library. The talk will again be a slightly modified version of “Reading Lessons in Black and White: Race, Literacy, and the Making of the Mormon People.”

I’m also hoping to squeeze in time to do some Wakara work. I hope to visit BYU’s Museum of Peoples and Cultures, which has one of the best collections of Ute related artifacts. I’m also hoping to visit Kanosh, Utah, and perhaps approach–though I’m not convinced of the ethics of actually “visiting”–Wakara’s gravesite.

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