Call for Papers: D. Michael Quinn: The Life and Times of a Mormon Historian

September 15, 2021

Few figures in the development of Mormon studies during the late-twentieth century are more significant than D. Michael Quinn. Educated at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and Yale University, Quinn was among scholars who revisited and revised the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He worked as a researcher under Church Historian Leonard Arrington and produced a series of significant works emblematic of the New Mormon History. At times Quinn’s work sparked backlash, and his identity as queer, Chicano, and independent put him at odds with his surrounding culture. His controversial scholarship and activities led, first, to his forced resignation as a full professor at BYU and then, later, to his excommunication from the church. 

Quinn’s legacy has only grown with time. His many articles and books continue to inform and influence scholarship today. The Mormon studies community mourned when he passed on April 21, 2021, at the age of seventy-seven.

We will hold a one-day conference examining the life and legacy of D. Michael Quinn on March 25, 2022, at the University of Utah. Sessions will explore both his experiences as a historical figure as well as his impact on historiography. 

While most panels will be composed of invited speakers, one session will be reserved for junior scholars as a tribute to Quinn’s dedication to mentoring younger generations. We therefore seek paper proposals from those currently in school or less than three years removed from receiving their degree who are working in fields related to those on which Quinn published. These fields include, but are not limited to, Mormon power structures, gender and sexuality, religion and folk culture, post-manifesto polygamy, dissent, and religion and capitalism. Please submit a 250-word abstract and brief CV to [email protected] by December 1, 2021. Decisions will be made by January 15.

Limited funding will be available to assist with travel costs for those whose papers are accepted but lack institutional support. A final program will be announced in January 2022.

Conference Organizer

Benjamin E. Park, Sam Houston State University

Paper Selection Committee

Gary Bergera, Smith-Pettit Foundation

Barbara Jones Brown, Mormon History Association

Carter Charles, Brigham Young University

Lindsay Hansen Park, Sunstone Foundation

Taylor Petrey, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought

Conference Sponsors

Dialogue Foundation

Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies, Claremont Graduate University

Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, Utah State University

Mormon History Association

Mormon Studies Initiative, University of Utah

Smith-Pettit Foundation

Sunstone Foundation