You are here:

Professor Paul Reeve Appointed First Mormon Studies Professorship

The History Department's own Professor Paul Reeve has been appointed as the first Simmons Mormon Studies Professor by the College of Humanities. This position was made possible by the generosity of the David E. and Melinda K. Simmons Foundation.

Dr. Reeve's appointment will solidify the already stellar reputation held by the University of Utah's College of Humanities for its representation of exceptional Mormon scholars.

“With the appointment of Paul, the U has moved into the front rank of schools engaged in the vibrant, intellectual exploration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its institutions, history and people,” said Bob Goldberg, director of the U’s Tanner Humanities Center, which houses the Mormon studies initiative. “He will help advance our goals of fostering understanding, respect and tolerance while expanding the breadth and depth of our program.”

Reeve, who received his doctorate in history from the U, teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history and the history of the Western U.S. His most recent book, “Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness,” received the Mormon History Association’s Best Book Award, the John Whitmer Historical Association’s Smith-Pettit Best Book Award and the Utah State Historical Society’s Francis Armstrong Madsen Best History Book Award.

“I am honored to hold the Simmons Mormon Studies Professorship and am especially pleased for what it means for the progression of Mormon studies at the U,” said Reeve. “The professorship elevates the status of an already strong Mormon Studies initiative and helps to solidify the U’s position as a leader in the field.”

The appointment will allow Reeve to continue his research and begin a new digital history project, “A Century of Black Mormons.” The project seeks to build a digital database that names all identifiable black Mormons baptized into the faith between 1830 and 1930 and document their existence through primary source research. The database will become publicly available, including the primary source documentation.

“Because of the LDS church’s racial policy, from the 1850s to 1978, which restricted black male priesthood ordination and black male and female temple admission, public perception, both among Mormons and outsiders, sometimes suggests that there were no black Mormons until after 1978. This digital history project is designed to correct that perception and to recover the names and lives of black Mormons who have been erased from collective Mormon memory. Their lives matter and their names deserve to be known,” said Reeve.

In many regards the digital project is a spin-off from of his book, “Religion of a Different Color,” which tells the Mormon racial story in all of its complexity. The book documents the lives of early black priesthood holders and other black pioneers.

“As I gave book talks across the country to various audiences, people frequently wanted to know how many black Mormons there were. No scholar to date has tried to systematically answer that question. This professorship will allow me to do just that,” added Reeve.


Most Recent Faculty News

  • Professor Paul Reeve Appointed First Mormon Studies Professorship

    History Professor Dr. Paul Reeve has been appointed the first Simmons Mormon Studies professor, advancing the University's Mormon Studies initiative.

  • The U History Department Welcomes Professor Nicole Giannella

    An introduction to our newest Ancient Mediterranean specialist, her research interests, and her plans for the future at the U.

  • Bradley Parker Awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

    Associate professor of history Dr. Bradley Parker has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue his archaeological work on Inca and Wari Imperialism in Ayacucho, Peru.

  • Instructor Safi Safiullah Named Librarian of the Year by Utah Library Association

    Safi S. M. Safiullah, a native of Bangladesh and Manager of the Salt Lake City Public Library’s Marmalade Branch, was recognized for his career in community engagement and lifelong support of libraries and education around the world.

  • American Historical Association Selects Department Professors for 2017 Career Diversity Initiative

    The American Historical Society has announced its participants for the 2017-18 Career Diversity for Historians Faculty Institute, including Department Chair and Professor Eric Hinderaker, Professor Matt Basso, Professor Greg Smoak, and Professor Paul Reeve.

  • Professor Elizabeth Clement Receives U's Faculty Recognition Award

    Dr. Clement was one of 20 faculty members selected out of over 200 nominations to receive this year's award. Her nomination by student Amy Brown emphasized Dr. Clemet's "dedication to helping students find resources, figuring out their career passions, and realize the possibilities that exist for their futures".

  • Matthew Basso Named State Scholar for Smithsonian Institute Museum Program

    Professor Matthew Basso has been named the State Scholar for the Smithsonian Institute's The Way We Worked, a Museum on Main Street program. Presented by Utah Humanities and the Smithsonian Institute, this exhibition of work and labor in American history began its year-long Utah tour in January at the Ogden Union Station.

  • Danielle Olden Awarded an NEH Fellowship

    Danielle Olden, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. The year-long NEH Fellowship will enable Danielle to complete her book, Racial Uncertainties: Mexican Americans, School Desegregation, and the Making of Race in Post-Civil Rights America,which examines Denver, Colorado's battle over school desegregation in the late 1960s and 1970s.

  • Paul Reeve Honored As UCSS Teacher of the Year

    The Utah Council for the Social Studies recently honored Professor Paul Reeve with its University Teacher of the Year Award at its annual conference in Salt Lake City. The UCSS recognized Professor Reeve for his contributions to the teaching of Utah history in particular and his efforts to re-imagine and reinvigorate pedagogical approaches to that subject.

  • Bradley Parker Speaks On Protecting Utah's Archaeology

    Professor Bradley Parker guests on the Thinking Aloud podcast to discuss Utah's archaeological treasures, the dangers facing petroglyphs and material remains, and how archaeologists and the public can work to preserve them for future generations.

  • Dr. Clement's Research Supports Documentary on HIV/AIDS in Salt Lake City

    Professor Beth Clement’s ongoing work on the AIDS epidemic has supported the production of a documentary on HIV in Utah, part of which just appeared in Still Here, an eight-minute short film hosted by VideoWest. Click on "Read more" for the link.

  • Nadja Durbach Wins John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for 2016

    Nadja Durbach is an historian of modern Britain who specializes in the history of the body. During her Guggenheim Fellowship, Professor Durbach will be working on a book entitled, Many Mouths: State-Feeding in Britain from the Workhouse to the Welfare State.

  • Beth Clement Wins Teaching Award and Featured in U of U Innovate Report

    Associate Professor Elizabeth Clement has not only won the 2016 Faculty Teaching Award for Excellence in General Education, but over the last two years, Clement has been active in the creation and processing of the new Kristen Ries/Maggie Snyder HIV/AIDS Collection at the Marriott Library. Click "Read more" for the link.

  • Professor Paul Reeve wins MHA Best Book Award

    According to the BYU Studies Review, "Religion of a Different Color is a true historical tour de force. It instantly joins the elite ranks of the Mormon studies canon, becoming required reading for anyone interested in the Mormon past (or present).

  • Rebecca Horn Wins Excellence in Global Education Award

    Of professor Horn, the Office for Global Engagement commented that "her leadership to establish the Center for Latin American Studies and gain NRC status has a far-reaching impact for student and faculty global engagement at the U as well as in K-12 education and the local community."

Last Updated: 9/20/17