November 6, 2020: Elisa Pulido, “The Spiritual Evolution of Margarito Bautista, Mexican Mormon Evangelizer, Polygamist Dissident, and Utopian Founder, 1878-1961”
Elisa Pulido discusses her recent spiritual biography of Margarito Bautista, a Mexican cultural nationalist, Mormon convert, and Utopian Founder. Bautista left behind thousands of pages of his own writing—more than any other indigenous convert to date. Pulido discusses the major contributions of his extant works. She demonstrates that Bautista’s efforts to publish and distribute his thought throughout the U.S.-Mexico borderlands was an authorial activism meant to offer a new spiritual identity to Mexicans and encourage them to prepare for a prophetic destiny of leadership on the world stage. David Hayes-Bautista contextualizes Margarito’s life and thought through a presentation of his research on the centuries-long intellectual tradition of Atlauhtla, Margarito’s birthplace, and surrounding areas on Mexico’s Central Plateau. His discussion includes ancient documents, intellectual contributions, and major figures of the area, including Chilmalpahin, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Antonio Alzate, and Emiliano Zapata.

Below is the audio of David Hayes-Bautista’s lecture, which is not included in the above video.


October 9, 2020: Taylor Petrey, “Essential Gender in Latter-day Saint Thought”
In recent decades, scholars and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have emphasized a teaching that “gender is an essential characteristic” of human identity as an explanation for the church’s political and ecclesiastical actions on a range of issues from same-sex relationships to gender roles and transgender policies. This presentation explores the history of these teachings and sets them in context of broader theories of gender and sexual difference.