Lori Wilkinson, a first-year graduate student focusing on 19th and 20th century US History, will have a research paper featured in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Mormon History titled "Scribbling Women in Zion: Mormon Women Emulate Fanny Fern". The paper focuses on the relationship between LDS women on the frontier of Utah and the writings of Fanny Fern, a satirical newspaper columnist with the New York Ledger known for her conversational writing style. While the LDS church was encouraging separation of its population from mainstream American culture, many of its female members nonetheless found connection to popular culture and inspiration for their own writing through Fern's weekly column.
Wilkinson credits the research seminar taught by Professor Colleen McDannell for helping prepare the paper for publication. Says Wilkinson, "Her class took students step by step through the writing and publishing process. She arranged for students to meet and/or FaceTime with authors and editors. In my first semester as a PhD student, this class was a wonderful experience that enabled me to write an article and submit it for publication within four months. I cannot thank Professor McDannell enough for her effort on my behalf. She drafted with me throughout the semester. By the time I finished the class, I knew exactly where I was sending my article, the requirements for that particular journal, and I was able to submit the article within in a week after the semester ended."
The paper's abstract follows:
"Upon arrival in Utah Territory, Brigham Young admonished the Saints to maintain separation from the “Gentile world” by “cutting every thread.” Previous scholarship in Mormon history has stressed that that the Saints maintained an attitude of separation until the discontinuation of polygamy, when Latter-day Saints strove to become culturally “American.” However, this assumption reveals a male historical bias. Latter-day Saint women on the Utah frontier were intimately connected with a developing national popular culture. To illustrate this point, one can observe how Latter-day Saint women on the frontier of Utah were voracious readers of Fanny Fern, the highest paid newspaper columnist of her time. Often considered isolated from their New England contemporaries, Mormon women were actually connected to American popular culture through women’s writings. Mormon women were fascinated and intrigued with Fanny Fern’s brusque satirical writings, as well as her sentimental pieces. She offered domestic advice that expressed both traditional and unconventional ideas. Seemingly outlandish statements by Fern were noteworthy in lives of these western women. Her articles were printed in the Deseret News as early as 1852, and in the Woman’s Exponent long after her death in 1872. Numerous articles in the Woman’s Exponent reference Fanny Fern, and women’s entries borrowed from her writing techniques."
Most Recent Student News
History department graduate student Jeffrey Mahas was recently published in the Journal of Mormon History. His paper introduces the reader to the little-discussed whistling and whittling movement of early Mormonism and its relationship to vigilante violence within the community.
Andrew Smith, U of Utah History alumnus (BA, 2015), is among the latest recipients of the Boren Award, the prestigious and nationally competitive fellowship program that supports service and language learning abroad. He is currently at work in Tanzania and learning Swahili. Tanzania’s Kigoma province has received a majority of the over 400,000 Burundi refugees.
Kathryn Hain, December 2016 graduate from the History Department, received an Honorable Mention, in the World History Association Dissertation Prize, an award that placed her work in the top ten percent of the competition.
Lori Wilkinson, a first-year graduate student focusing on 19th and 20th century US History, will have a research paper featured in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Mormon History titled "Scribbling Women in Zion: Mormon Women Emulate Fanny Fern". The paper focuses on the relationship between LDS women on the frontier of Utah and the writings of Fanny Fern, a satirical newspaper columnist with the New York Ledger known for her conversational writing style.
History graduate student Travis Ross partnered with the Utah State Historical Society to curate a collection of rare maps of the Utah territory, on display at the Utah State Capitol. The exhibit will run from January 27 to late summer 2017.
Three Humanities students, Jessica Chamorro, Sabrina Dawson, and Kate Mower have won the 2016-2017 Fulbright Awards. The US Fulbright program was established in 1946 to create mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between people in the U.S. and other countries.
Hosted by H-SAC in cooperation with Department staff and faculty, the second annual Futures in History social brings together faculty, students, and alumni to share stories, network, and to explore the rich variety of career pathways open to History undergraduates.
Professor Benjamin Cohen received a 30k grant from the U.S. Consulate, Hyderabad, India, to lead a team of nine Indian and six American students in studying sustainable urbanization in India. He travelled with Stephen Goldsmith (Architecture + Planning) to Hyderabad in December-January where the students conducted interviews, fieldwork, and meetings.
Brad Dennis, who graduated in the Fall of 2015 with his Ph.D. in History from the University of Utah this December, discusses the origins of interethnic and interreligious conflict at the birth of the modern Middle East from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
Congratulations to Alyssa Victoria Mae Wall for winning one of the two J. Willard Marriott Library Honors awards this year. The title of her thesis was "A Tradition of Appropriation of Culture for Political Gain: Music in Korea," which one in the category of Social Science / Science.