2014 Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture: The History of the Mormon Family

In the summer of 2014, the Neal A Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University, with support from the Mormon Scholars Foundation and the Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley Institution, will sponsor a summer seminar for graduate students and junior faculty on “The History of the Mormon Family.”

The seminar will be held on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, from June 15 to July 26. Admitted participants will receive a stipend of $3000 with an accommodations subsidy if needed. The seminar continues the series of seminars on Mormon culture begun in the summer of 1997. In 2014, the seminar will be conducted by Richard and Claudia Bushman.

The question we will address is: how did the Church move in the course of a century from the most unconventional marriage system in the nation to a model of family stability? Mormons were criticized in the nineteenth century for their assault on family values. By the mid-twentieth century, they were lauded for the strength of their families. What resources could Mormons draw on to accomplish this transformation? Despite the bad reputation of plural marriage, what principles of family life were established in the nineteenth century that could ultimately produce the strong families of the twentieth century? What teachings and programs shaped Mormon family life and brought about the change in public opinion?

Each participant will be asked to prepare a paper on some aspect of this general subject area for
presentation in a public symposium in the final week. Applicants are welcomed from the fields of history, literature, anthropology, sociology and psychology, family studies, religious studies, social work, philosophy, and other humanistic and social scientific fields. Graduate students at any level of preparation are eligible. Junior faculty are also invited to apply.

Click here to download the application (MS Word format).

Applications should be submitted by February 15, 2014. Notifications will be sent by March 15, 2014. For further information write:

Summer Seminar on Mormon Culture
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
email: [email protected] phone: (801) 422 9229 fax: (801) 422 0040

Announcement (PDF)
Application (MS Word .doc)

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