Post ‘Mormon Moment’ conference to examine LDS and media

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Mormon Media Studies Symposium
The Mormon Media Studies conference begins Oct. 17 at the Salt Lake Center and will explore the way media and mass communications has influenced the Church. (MMSS)

The continuing relationship between media and Mormons will get in-depth coverage at the third Mormon Media Studies Symposium Friday, Oct. 17.

“While the ‘Mormon Moment’ may have passed in the national consciousness, there is much to be explored in the ways that Mormons, news media and social media interact,” said Joel Campbell, a BYU journalism professor and conference co-organizer.

The theme is “Mormons and Meaning: How Media Shape Mormon Identities,” and the daylong symposium will feature 16 presentations by 21 scholars. It is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the BYU Salt Lake Center, 3 Triad Center, 345 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City.

Designed for students, scholars, researchers and interested observers of the relationship between media and Mormonism, the symposium is free and open to the public

Lane Williams, a BYU—Idaho communications professor and co-organizer said that recent announcements by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints amplify the need to study Mormons and their uses of media, as well as how news media and popular culture portray Mormons and the LDS Church.

“(With) the recent call by LDS apostle Elder David Bednar for Church members to ‘flood the world’ with social media messages, continued news media interest in the growing numbers of LDS missionaries and LDS influence in such areas as business, scholars and church members alike will have much to discuss at the conference,” Williams said.

The symposium will begin with a keynote address honoring Jan Shipps, a prominent scholar of LDS history. It will continue with various discussions including the following topics:

  • When Broadway Meets Mollywood: Mormonism and Popular Culture
  • How Media Represented Mormonism in Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 Campaigns
  • How Major American Christian Denominations Present Themselves to the World on the Internet
  • Former LDS General Relief Society President Barbara B. Smith’s Media Presence During the ERA Movement
  • KZN (now KSL) and the LDS Church’s Approach to Radio, 1922-1927
  • The 19th century U.S. Press Coverage of The Mountain Meadows Massacre
  • How can Latter-day Saints respond to Elder Bednar’s call to “Sweep the Earth with a Flood?”

Additional information  may be found on the symposium’s website, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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