Writing the Past:
Intersections of Literature and History in Mormon Letters
Utah Valley University
April 22, 2017
Mormons have long made recording and preserving their history a priority. On the day Joseph Smith organized the Church of Christ in 1830, he revealed that “there shall be a record kept” in the new church. Almost a year later, John Whitmer became the first person tasked with “writ[ing] and keep[ing] a regular history” of the Mormon people. Since then, Mormons have sought to preserve not only their institutional history, but their cultural and personal histories as well.
Mormon creative writers have likewise sought to engage the Mormon past. Among the earliest works of Mormon fiction, poetry, and drama were texts that retold and memorialized the epic story of the Mormon pioneers and their efforts to establish a foothold in the Intermountain West. In subsequent years, Mormon writers have continued to show interest in their history, producing texts that explore the history of the Latter-day Saint experience across the globe.
These works, while grounded in the events of the past, often offer insight into the present as well, creating multi-layered texts that give insight not only into Mormon understandings of history and memory, but also into the historical moment of the text itself.
For the 2017 Association for Mormon Letters Conference, we invite proposals for papers, panels, and readings that explore the intersections of literature and history in Mormon letters. We will also consider proposals on other subjects that fall within the boundaries of Mormon Letters.
Send proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 February 2017. Proposals should be no more than 300 words and include the title of the presentation as well as audio-visual needs.
The Association for Mormon Letters is calling for papers relating to the connections between speculative fiction and Mormonism, to be delivered at Life, the Universe and Everything 2017, to be held February 16-18 in Provo, Utah.
Presentations can be shorter (10-15 minutes) or longer (20-25 minutes), and can address any area of intersection between speculative fiction and Mormonism, including any of the following:
- Works by LDS authors of speculative fiction
- Depictions of Mormons and Mormonism in speculative fiction
- History of the Mormon speculative fiction community
- Thematic and cultural affinities, connections, and tensions between Mormonism and speculative fiction as ways of viewing human life and the universe in general
Student papers are welcome.
Proposals are due by August 31, and complete papers are due by October 1. Papers can be submitted without previously submitting a proposal, but we prefer the advance notice. Papers will be considered for publication in Deep Thoughts, the proceedings volume for LTUE.
In addition to submitted papers, there will be a panel on the appeal of science fiction and fantasy for Mormons. Please let us know if you would be interested in being on that panel.
Queries, proposals, and papers should be sent to Jonathan Langford, email jonathan AT langfordwriter DOT com.
We have had some wonderful submissions for the upcoming AML Conference. We’d like a few more, though, and so have extended our deadline to January 31, 2012.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Deadline: JANUARY 31, 2012
AML Conference Date: April 21, 2012 Utah Valley University, Student Center
Theme: Going Forth Into All the World: Mormon Literature in an International Church
We welcome submissions on any topic relating to Mormon literature, film, or drama. We are particularly interested in papers (written in or translated into English) on literary accomplishments of Latter-day Saints or those writing about Latter-day Saints outside of the USA.
Please submit a short (2 to 3 paragraph) abstract of your paper proposal to Margaret Young (Margaret_Young@byu.edu). Accepted papers in various panels should take no more than fifteen minutes to read. We appreciate your continued support of the Association for Mormon Letters.