Month: March 2017

MSH 2017 Preliminary Program

Thursday, May 25

There are several events taking place prior to the actual start of the conference for those who would like to participate. More details will be posted here as they become available.

  • MSH Affiliated Seminar on “Mormonism as Sound and Medium” held at Harvard
    Organizers: Sharon Harris and Peter McMurray
    Contact Sharon Harris ( for more information if interested in attending
  • MSH evening museum outing, organized by Shawn Tucker (more information forthcoming)

Friday, May 26

8:30–9:00      Registration

9:00–10:15    Welcome and opening keynote by Terryl L. Givens (University of Richmond)

10:15–10:30   Break

10:30–12:00  Session

Knowing Mormonism Through Sound
Chair: Sharon Harris (Fordham University)
“(When) Is Revelation Audible? Scripture, Dictation and Voice in Early Mormonism” • Peter McMurray (Harvard University)
“God in Stereo: The Sale Lake Tabernacle and Harvey Fletcher’s Telephonic Symphony” • Amanda Beardsley (Binghamton University)
“American Musical Theater and Mormon Integration” • Jake Johnson (UCLA)

12:00–2:00    Lunch

2:00–3:30     Concurrent Sessions

A: Book of Mormon I
Sponsored by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Chair: TBA
“Wise Historians of the Book of Mormon” • Rosemary Demos (Hunter College)
“Wise Purposes” • Karen Spencer (Independent Scholar)
“What Can I Say More? Wisdom in the Book of Mormon” • Catherine Nielsen (Brigham Young University)

B: Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels
Chair: TBA
“The Pathos of Elena Ferrante and Lila Cerullo: Parallel Fates of ‘Difficult Women'” • Shayla Whipple Frandsen (Independent Scholar)
“Personal Freedom in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels” • Rachel Frandsen Jardine (Independent Scholar)
“Elena Ferrante and the Matter of Difference” • Rosalynde Welch (Independent Scholar)

3:30–3:45      Break

3:45–5:15      Concurrent Sessions

A. Literature and Wisdom I
Sponsored by the BYU College of Humanities
Chair: TBA
“The (Un)Wisdom of Literature” • David Paxman (Brigham Young University)
“What Wisdom is Buried in Domestic Fiction?” • Lee Ann Westman (Rutgers University)
“How ‘Seek Ye Out of the Best Books Words of Wisdom’?” • Bruce Jorgensen (Brigham Young University)

B. What is Wisdom?
Chair: TBA
“Wisdom from Above” • Zachary Davis (Harvard Divinity School)
“Against Common Sense: Wisdom as Historical and Cultural Subversion” • Conner Bassett (University of California Santa Cruz)
“Hypomene and the LDS Word of Wisdom” • Adam Oliver Stokes (Saint Joseph’s University)

6:00–8:00      Banquet and Anniversary Roundtable

“What Part Mormon? What Part Scholarship? What Part Humanities? Reflections on the First Ten Years”
Sponsored by the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding
Participants: David Gore (University of Minnesota Duluth), James Faulconer (Brigham Young University), George Handley (Brigham Young University), David Paxman (Brigham Young University), Jenny Webb (Independent Scholar), Rosalynde Welch (Independent Scholar)


Saturday, May 27

8:00–9:15      Business Meeting

9:15–9:30      Break

9:30–10:00    Poetry Reading: “Wisdom for the Dead and Dying” • Jonathon Penny (Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai)

10:00–10:15  Break

10:15–12:00   Concurrent Sessions

A. Modes of Wisdom
Chair: TBA
“Seer Stones and Small Means: The Scandalous Wisdom of the Book of Mormon’s Shameful Origins” • James Egan (Independent Scholar)
“Elected Wisdom” • Redge Bendheim (Claremont Graduate University)
“Toward a Mormon Theology of Teaching and Learning” • Shawn Tucker (Elon University)

B. Literature and Wisdom II
Sponsored by the BYU College of Humanities
Chair: TBA
“Decomposing Flesh and the Wisdom of Bodies” • Sarah Moore (Independent Scholar)
“Religion in Politics and the Politics of Religion: The English Civil War and Milton’s Wisdom” • William Silverman (Southern Virginia University)
“The Wisdom of Weeping Gods in Middle Earth and Mormonism” • Jacob Rennaker (John A. Widstoe Foundation)

12:00–2:00    Lunch

2:00–3:30     Concurrent Sessions

A. Book of Mormon II
Sponsored by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Chair: TBA
“Corianton’s Distorted Desire: The Plan of Restoration and Happiness” • Robert Couch (Earlham College)
“Ether and Material Narrative” • Jenny Webb (Independent Scholar)
“‘We Could Write But Little’: Faith and Fragment in Ether 12” • Kimberly Berkey (Harvard Divinity School)

B. Women and Wisdom
Chair: TBA
“Wise or Foolish: Women in Mormon Biblical Narrative Art” • Jenny Champoux (Northeastern University/Colorado Community Colleges)
“Mormonism/Womanism: Determining the Position of the African Woman” • Okafor Amaechi Henry (University of Ibadan)
“The Divine Woman Wisdom in Proverbs 1–9” • Alyson Von Feldt (Independent Scholar)

3:30–3:45      Break

3:45–5:15      Session

Theory and Wisdom
Chair: TBA
“The Rule of Wisdom” • David Gore (University of Minnesota Duluth)
“Beyond a Form of Godliness to the Power Thereof: Mormon Literature as Christo-Fiction” • Adam S. Miller (Collin College)
“Shame’s Wisdom: Notes on Stewardship” • Joseph M. Spencer (Brigham Young University)

5:15–5:30      Break

5:30–6:30      Closing keynote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Harvard University)