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Current and Past May Fellows



Travis E. Ross is a cultural historian of the United States in the world, focusing particularly on the production and circulation of knowledge in and about the North American West in the long nineteenth century. Titled “History, Inc.—Hubert Howe Bancroft’s History Company and the Problem of Selling the Past,” his dissertation uses the networked production of the first comprehensive history of western America to tell a history of history that is not synonymous with the modern academic profession. He has published in Southern California Quarterly and has presented papers at flagship conferences, including the Western History Association, American Historical Association, and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publication. Originally from Missoula, Montana, Ross came to the University of Utah with interdisciplinary degrees from Wabash College, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Nevada, Reno. His work has been supported by research fellowships from the University of Utah’s American West Center and the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. In addition to the May fellowship, he was a fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center and currently holds an Ellen Christina Steffensen Cannon Scholarship. For more on Travis visit his website:


Jeff Turner has undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Washington State University, and a MA in Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  He is a PhD student in U.S. History, and focuses on religious conversion and migration in the American West.  He is currently working on a project that analyzes the Mormon response to 1920s U.S. immigration restriction policy.  After completing the program, Jeff hopes to teach American History.

Jessica Young graduated summa cum laude in 2014 with her Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Religious Studies from The Ohio State University.  Jessica studies American religious history and gender in the nineteenth century. She focuses on questions of religion and identity formation, women in religion, religion as it creates lifestyles and communities, and religion’s influence on the lives of ordinary people. While utilizing the Dean L. May Fellowship she created two original research papers entitled “The Power of Words: Plural Wives’ Rhetoric About Polygamy During the Mormon Underground” and “The Mormon Underground and Its Challenges to Victorian Masculinity.” Thanks to the generous Dean L. May Fellowship Jessica will earn her Masters of Arts in History in 2016. She plans to pursue work in museums so she can share her passion for and knowledge of US religious history with the public.


Last Updated: 5/24/17