Call for Papers: Book of Mormon Studies

Book of Mormon Studies: Toward a Conversation

Academic study of the Book of Mormon has never been more promising than at present. Royal Skousen’s work on producing a critical text is nearing completion, and the Joseph Smith Papers Project is making the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon widely available. Terryl Givens and Paul Gutjahr’s work has provided a basic outline on the reception history of the book. Brant Gardner has provided students of the Book of Mormon with a richly sourced and substantive commentary. Grant Hardy has introduced the content and the depth of the Book of Mormon into the larger academic world, and scholars associated with Community of Christ have recently made a case for renewed interest in the volume. The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies has begun to provide a space where various kinds of serious research on the book can be published. Book of Mormon Central has laid the foundation for a comprehensive archive of previous scholarly work. The Mormon Theology Seminar has begun assembling a body of close theological readings of specific texts. And promisingly, non-Mormon academic presses and journals have begun to publish important work on the Book of Mormon.

In the hopes of furthering all these developments, and of encouraging the pursuit of other directions, we would like to announce a conference to be held on October 13–14, 2017 at Utah State University. The purpose of the conference is twofold. First, we wish to gather scholars invested in serious academic study of the Book of Mormon and provide them with a venue to present their work and receive feedback and criticism. Ultimately, we aim to foster a community of academics interested in the Book of Mormon. To this end, the conference has no centralizing theme, but instead invites papers on any subject related to the Book of Mormon, from any viable academic angle. Second, in gathering interested scholars, we hope to use the occasion of a conference to lay the groundwork for a sustainable (but minimal) organization that can sponsor regular (annual or biannual) conferences on the Book of Mormon. To this end, the conference will include a meeting attempting to institutionalize a regular, repeating event for gathering scholars working on the Book of Mormon. We therefore invite the submission of full papers to be considered for presentation at the conference, particularly from scholars interested in promoting academic work on the Book of Mormon.


Three awards for most outstanding papers will be given:
$750 first place
$500 second place
$250 third place
One award for most outstanding graduate student paper:

KEYNOTES: Jared Hickman (Johns Hopkins University) and John Turner (George Mason University)
DATE: October 13–14, 2017
LOCATION: Utah State University

Send submissions to Submissions must include a full-length paper (3500–4000 words, excluding notes), a 300-word abstract, a brief CV (no more than two pages), and full contact information (including student status if applicable). Complete details available at

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