*American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940* wins the Mormon History Association’s Best Book Award!

simpson book coverIt was such an incredible honor this weekend to have the Mormon History Association devote a plenary session to my book, American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940. After the session, it was announced that the book had won the MHA’s best book award!

I’m so grateful to all the colleagues, friends, and readers who have been so supportive along the way. A list of all the MHA award-winners is here, and a list of UNC Press award-winners is here.

Posted in Books, Christianity, Feminism, Gender, Higher Education, Mormonism, Publications on Religion and American Culture, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MHA Plenary Session on *American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940*

simpson book cover

Tonight in St. Louis, at the spring meeting of the Mormon History Association, there will be a plenary “author meets critics” session devoted to my book, American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940I’m thrilled. The panel, chaired by Brett Dowdle, will include scholars I deeply admire: Richard Bushman, Kristine Wright, Jed Woodworth, and Thomas Alexander. Wish me luck!

Posted in Books, Christianity, Feminism, Higher Education, Mormonism, Publications on Religion and American Culture, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism featured in Religion News Service

The brilliant author, blogger, and columnist Jana Riess just published an interview with me in her regular column for the Religion News Service. Read the interview — called “When Mormons first went to Harvard…” — here!

Posted in Books, Christianity, Feminism, Gender, Mormonism, Publications on Religion and American Culture, Religion and Politics, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My new book shipping now!

 

simpson book coverMy new book, American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940 (University of North Carolina Press), is shipping now! Stay tuned for news about author events and podcasts!

(The book is available directly from the press through the link above and through a range of online retailers like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.)

Posted in Books, Christianity, Feminism, Gender, Higher Education, Mormonism, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My first book — available for pre-order at 40% off!

simpson book coverMy very first book, American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867-1940, is now available for pre-order from the University of North Carolina Press at a discount of 40%!

Just click on this link and use discount code 01DAH40

Here are reviews included in the UNC Press catalog:

“An elegant, original contribution and a must-read for anyone interested in American religion and the life of the mind. Thomas W. Simpson’s scholarly heavy lifting–painstakingly tracing the Progressive-era Mormons who passed through American universities–forces a substantial reassessment of previous ‘Americanization’ theses. Simpson decenters polygamy (no mean feat) and places intellectual history and education at the heart of LDS navigation of both modernity and national identity.”
–J. Spencer Fluhman, Brigham Young University

American Universities and the Birth of Modern Mormonism tells an important story of the development of Mormon intellectual life. The risks experienced by young Mormons and church leaders alike as students departed the ‘kingdom’ for education in the early part of the twentieth century is an essential and necessary part of the history of the formation of an educated Mormon community and the creation of a true Mormon intellectual community.”
–Jan Shipps, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

 

Posted in Books, Higher Education, Publications on Religion and American Culture, Religion and Spirituality, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Recovery’s Rhythm and Blues” in Numéro Cinq

Skakavac

View from the Skakavac mountain waterfall, outside Sarajevo

“Recovery’s Rhythm and Blues,” an essay of mine about an unforgettable road trip through Bosnia and Herzegovina with Goran Simić in the summer of 2014, appeared this week in the Canadian literary magazine Numéro Cinq. The essay is here, free and online.

Posted in Bosnia, Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Poetry, Politics, Religion and Spirituality, Social Justice, Sports, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Series: Resources for Teaching About Religion, Violence, and Human Rights

booksTo keep “Wayne Street Soul” alive during the academic year, I’m launching a new series of posts on my teaching. I’ve had such an exciting set of conversations with students this spring in seminars on human rights, the Holocaust, and religious diversity in the United States, that I wanted to start compiling and sharing distilled versions of the curriculum.

My hope is that these resources will be of interest to a wide audience; they all relate directly to fundamental questions about diversity and coexistence in the 21st century.

So for starters, here’s a little about day 1 in the course on religious diversity in the U.S. I learned a long time ago how important it is to hit the ground running on day 1 and not lose the whole period to coma-inducing administration. So after brief personal introductions and an introduction to the course, I have students watch Valarie Kaur’s “Oak Creek: In Memoriam,” a nine-minute film about a 2012 shooting in Wisconsin that targeted Sikhs. In an arresting, memorable way, the film brings the central themes of the course — religious diversity, freedom, conflict, and coexistence — to the fore, and it prepares students for a sustained analysis of the long American experiment with religious freedom. I have the students share their responses with the rest of the class (what did you notice? what questions do you have?), and by the end of the period we’ve established and focus and momentum that will extend to the conversations to come.

Posted in Ethics, Film, Human Rights, Peacebuilding, Race, Social Justice, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments