This institute will encourage its participants to think about the intertwined history of Mexico and the various churches that make up the Mormon tradition as a means to explore deeper questions about borders and religion.We will explore how political and cultural borders between the United States and Mexico have transformed Mormonism, and in turn how Mormonism has provided residents of both nations a way to transcend those borders through its reinvention.

In so doing, the institute will be of interest to scholars in a number of disciplines: historians, students of religious studies and Latinx students, scholars of the American West, cultural pluralism, and migration. The institute focuses on a religious tradition that has been absent from most borderlands and Latinx religious studies, but whose presence in Mexico and the American West is notable. Just so, it will encourage scholars of religion in the United States and of Mormonism in particular to consider issues of globalization and borderlands.

The institute, intended for 25 college and university teachers, will be held June 27-28, July 1-8, and July 18-22, 2022. Approximately half of the institute will be held at Claremont Graduate University and half remotely via Zoom. While in person, attendees will take advantage of the resources of Claremont’s Honnold Library, including the Gomez Collection on Mexican Mormon History, visit a Mormon Spanish-language service and the Cheech Marin Center For Chicano Art, Culture and History, and visit with a number of visiting scholars and speakers.

Each participant will be expected to develop a project, either research, pedagogical, or having to do with public history.

Early Mexican newspaper discussing LDS church
Early Mexican newspaper discussing the LDS church, from the Fernando and Enriqueta Gomez Collection
First translation of the BOM in Spanish 1875
1875 Spanish translation of the Book of Mormon, from the Fernando and Enriqueta Gomez Collection

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The National Endowment for the Humanities: Mormonism and Mexico: A Case Study in Religion and Borderlands

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