After a bit of work and discussion, a small group I’m working with has issued a call for papers for what may be the first academic conference on Mormonism not held principally in English. The conference will be held in São Paulo, Brazil this coming January.
[I did find a listing on Mormon Conferences to a FAIR conference in German, but it is classified there as a “popular” conference instead of an “academic” conference. I suppose this conference in Brazil could also be a “popular” conference, depending on how this is defined.]
Much work remains to be done to prepare for this conference, so only a call for papers has been issued, but we have high hopes for a great event. Since this type of conference is largely unfamiliar in Brazil, and because we want to develop an audience for the conference, we will not charge admission or fees for attending. If you can get to São Paulo, you are welcome to come. [For what its worth, air fare is currently about $700 round trip — and you will get to fly from winter to summer in the process].
Those interested in presenting papers can check out the call for papers.
Regardless of whether this is the first Mormon studies conference that isn’t in English, we hope that it can show that a conference like this can work in other languages and outside of North America and Europe.
I’ve been working recently under a theory that Mormon culture in each language and country will eventually develop most of the same features we see in the Intermountain West, but with a flavor and influence from the surrounding culture. I’m not suggesting that LDS kitch is inevitable in each country, but I do see LDS stores, singing groups, films, books, music, etc., in each language and area. Perhaps, then, each country or language will eventually have its own MHA-like conference or conferences.
If this is true, then I’m glad I’ve got a seat at the table to see this develop.