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Mormon Studies Fellow Recognized for Paper on LGBTQ Religious History

K Mohrman
Courtesy Photo: LGBTQ Religious Archives Network

by Joel McDonald

Dr. K Mohrman, currently a professor at the University of Colorado Denver, was honored with the 2018-2019 Religious History Award by the LGBTQ Religious Archives Network. Her paper, “Becoming White: Theologizing Heteronormativity in Mormonism, 1890-1945,” was selected from among eight submissions to the award jury.

Morhman was the 2017-2018 Postdoctoral Fellow in Mormon Studies at the University of Virginia and was the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Steven J. Schochet Endowment’s 2016-2017 Interdisciplinary Dissertation Fellowship in Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies.

According to the press release announcing the award:

Mohrman’s award-winner paper is part of her book project Exceptionally Queer: Mormon Peculiarity and US Exceptionalism, which argues that contestations over Mormonism in popular and political culture have played a central role in shaping national identity and ideology, particularly through the production of sexual normativity and racial hierarchy. More specifically, the project highlights how Mormonism has been used as a foil against which “Americanness” has been defined as white, heteronormative, capitalist, and Protestant, thereby justifying and facilitating many of the exclusionary and imperialist policies and practices of the US nationstate. The “Becoming White: Theologizing Heteronormativity in Mormonism, 1890-1945” paper is the basis for her book’s fourth chapter, “Mormonism in Transition: Biopolitics and the Resignification of Mormon Peculiarity, 1890-1945.” Original research for this paper drew on both official and unofficial publications of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the journals Woman’s Exponent, Young Woman’s Journal, Improvement Era, and The Contributor.

Mohrman is the tenth recipient of the LGBTQ Religious History Award that was initiated by the LGBTQ Religious Archives Network in 2005. It is the only award given for outstanding scholarship in this field of study. The LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, a project of the Center for LGBTQ & Gender Studies in Religion at Pacific School of Religion, is a ground-breaking venture to preserve the history of LGBTQ religious movements around the world.

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