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Remember Me: The Inscription of Self in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism

Dr. Laurel Ulrich, Phillips Professor of Early American History and 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University.

August 15, 2012— Dr. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich will give the Tanner Humanities Center’s Sterling M. McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture. Ulrich’s lecture, titled “Remember Me: The Inscription of Self in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism”, will be held on Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Salt Lake City Main Library’s Nancy Tessman auditorium, 210 East 400 South. The event is free and open to the public.

In her lecture, Ulrich will explore the many ways that early Latter-day Saints used “life-writings” and physical mementos to mark the passage of time, link themselves to friends and family, and beg to be remembered. Thatcher writes: “Whether through writings or physical objects, there is a widespread human impulse to transcend death by leaving behind some sort of evidence of their existence.”

This talk will look at the institutional priorities, public controversies and family circumstances that shaped their production and preservation, and will consider the implications of these practices for the place of women in their communities.

Bob Goldberg, professor of history and director of the Tanner Humanities Center, describes Ulrich as “a principle voice on the historical and contemporary positions of women, both in the LDS community and larger world.”

Thatcher Ulrich is currently Phillips Professor of Early American History and 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University.  She is the author of “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History”. Her book, “A Midwife’s Tale” won the Pulitzer Prize for History, among other awards. Ulrich received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah, a Master of Arts from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. Ulrich is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the author of numerous articles and essays.

The 2012 McMurrin Lecture will serve as the keynote address for a conference titled “Women and the LDS Church: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives”, organized by Kate Holbrook, specialist in Women’s History in the LDS Church History Department, and Matt Bowman, professor of history at Hampden Sydney College and alumnus of the University of Utah.

The conference, which includes four roundtable discussions, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Fort Douglas Officer’s Club Theater, 150 S. Fort Douglas Blvd. Roundtable discussion topics include “Latter-day Saint Women and Agency: A Historical Perspective,” “Women’s Agency in the Contemporary LDS Church: Analytical Perspectives,” “Women’s Agency in the Contemporary LDS Church: Popular Perspectives,” and “Latter-day Saint Women Outside the United States.”

The conference is open to the public, with no registration required. Along with the Tanner Humanities Center, conference sponsors include: the LDS Church History Department, Utah Valley University, the University of Utah’s American West Center, Utah State University’s Program in Religious Studies and Center for Women and Gender, and Brigham Young University’s Women’s Studies Program, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

For more information on the 2012 McMurrin Lecture or the “Women and the LDS Church” conference, contact the Tanner Humanities Center at 801.581.7989 or