A Call for Mormon Studies Papers — for Brazil

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.

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10 comments for “A Call for Mormon Studies Papers — for Brazil

  1. Kirk C.
    October 2, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I really hope this pans out well. It could be great for the region.

  2. October 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve added the call for papers at MormonConferences.org. Kent, check your email.

  3. October 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks, Kent. Email reply on its way to you.

    BTW, I should have said in the post that the $700 is for airfare from the U.S. (New York City, in my case), and it is only from the northern hemisphere that you get to fly from winter to summer when visiting this conference. My apologies for assuming everyone was in the U.S.

  4. Deep Sea
    October 2, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    “for what may be the first academic conference on Mormonism not held principally in English.”

    Probably not true. There was an academic conference on Orson Hyde in Regensburg, Germany, around 1990 or so.

  5. Observer
    October 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    What happened to Kaimi’s terrificly satirical post about same sex divorce? Look out Swift: we have a guy here who says one thing, and means another thing entirely. Groundbreaking.

  6. October 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Um, observer, what does this have to do with the topic of this post?

  7. October 3, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Regarding Mormon studies conference outside of English speaking countries, let me give you a case in Japan. Japan has had Mormon studies conferences six times since 2001. It is small in size and scope, almost unknown, and is perhaps between popular conference and academic one in its nature. The name of the conference is “Mormonism Study Meeting” organized by myself. Each time I invited a researcher or a scholar from outside of the Church in addition to speakers from the inside. Our next meeting is planned to be held in the spring of 2011 with D. Jeff Burton as the main presenter.

    I am excited to learn of the Sao Paulo conference in January next year. I am looking forward to attending the conference.

  8. October 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Jiro, why hasn’t the Japanese conference appeared on MormonConferences.org? I too am excited to learn of other conferences, and I had hoped that MormonConferences.org would be a clearinghouse for this kind of information.

  9. October 4, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Well, Kent, it is because I did not notify them. I have just done that. Thank you for reminding me of that!

  10. Antonio Trevisan
    October 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Hey, Jiro, I am thrilled to know about these conferences/study meetings in Japan. I served in the Tokyo North Mission.

    I have a couple questions for you: how many people usually attend the conferences? And what is the attitude of the local leadership towards the conferences?

    If you are able able to attend our conference in Brazil, it would be great to hear more from you on your experience.

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