Mormon Studies took another step forward this week with the announcement of two doctoral fellowships in Mormon Studies. Courtesy of the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation, the two fellowships will be awarded one a year this year and next.
With any luck, the fellowships will be repeated in future years, assuming that they successfully lead to dissertations.
The text of the announcement, courtesy Levi Peterson, is as follows:
The Tanner Humanities Center is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation for $36,000 to establish the Eccles Fellowship in Mormon Studies. The award has been designated to support two doctoral students in researching and writing their dissertations ($18,000 stipend for each), one in 2009 and one in 2010. This fellowship targets Ph.D. candidates across the United States and the world who are researching the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its members, and Mormon culture in the fields of History, Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Economics, Business, Political Science, Religion, or Literature. Through publications, work in the classroom, and in public forums, these future academics, writers, and teachers will have an impact on the study of Mormonism and on students and the general population.
This fellowship is the first in the United States and the world to focus specifically on Mormon Studies. In offering this opportunity at the University of Utah, the Center recognizes the important and unrivaled archival resources for research located in Salt Lake City and Utah. It also begins to redress the imbalance of opportunities facing those who choose to study Mormonism as opposed to Judaism, Catholicism, or Islam. This fellowship will also enhance the recent trend that seeks to raise Mormon Studies to a new standard of academic excellence.
For application forms and requirements please visit http://www.thc.utah.edu
I applaud the Eccles family for this, but it seems somehow misplaced at the University of Utah with its longstanding tradition of hostility towards the LDS church, such as not hiring LDS faculty in certain departments.