Instructor: Michelle Mueller, M. Div

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Starr King School for the Ministry

Spring 2015, M 9:40AM-12:30PM

Instructor: Michelle Mueller, M.Div.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ibrahim Farajajé

Mormon Women & Power

a new course of the Graduate Theological Union
Course description: “Mormon women have had the priesthood since 1843.” –D. Michael Quinn, 1992. In this seminar, students with instructor examine the complex issues of women and power throughout Mormon history. Topics include women’s suffrage in Utah before most U.S. states, institutional patriarchy of the modern Mormon Church and religion, the doctrine of Mother in Heaven, women and the priesthood, Women’s Relief Society, women’s relationships with polygamy, and feminist Mormon housewives and Ordain Women. Course is taught by Doctoral student Michelle Mueller with a GTU Newhall award, under the mentorship of Dr. Farajajé.

Required Texts:

Bradley, Martha S. Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2005. ISBN 1560851899.

Bushman, Claudia. Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah. Salt Lake City: Utah State University Press, 1997. ISBN 0874212332.

Hanks, Maxine, Editor. Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992. ISBN 1560850140.

Recommended Texts:

Allred Solomon, Dorothy. The Sisterhood: Inside the Lives of Mormon Women. Palgrave, 2007.Bennion, Janet. Women of Principle: Female Networking in Contemporary Mormon Polygyny. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Compton, Todd. In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith. Signature Books: Salt Lake City, 1997.

Quinn, D. Michael. Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Toscano, Margaret and Paul. Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. New York: Vintage Books, 2008.

Reading Forums (25% of grade)

For each week, we have a Moodle reading forum with questions pertaining to the assigned text. Respond to the questions with a 1-2 page post to the Moodle Forum (due Fridays 9am), and engage with two other student’s posts by Sunday 5pm. Students will be graded on meeting the requirement, e.g. a thoughtful post that discusses the reading and responds to the questions, submitted on time, receives 100%. Points will be docked for lateness. No post receives 0%.

Participation (15% of Final Grade)

Includes attendance; helpful, respectful, and thoughtful contributions to class discussion; and any other small assignments not categorized elsewhere.

Interview with a Mormon Woman and Paper (cis and trans included) (20% of Final Grade, Paper Due April 20)

Each student will interview a Mormon woman and write a 3-5 page report about the interview. Because we are looking for life experience, instructor recommends interviewees of 30 years of age or more, and requires that you check with her in advance for an exception. Try to interview someone you don’t know well, e.g. don’t interview your Mormon high school best friend. Her mother, on the other hand, may be a good interviewee candidate. Report should detail the woman’s life and the student’s experience of the interview. Student may reflect on what she or he got out of the interview in the paper. Details about the actual conversation must be present. If you have questions about this assignment, please speak with instructor directly. If students have suggestions for others to interview, feel free to bring them up in class or mention to instructor. We will discuss the interviews and experiences in class.

Final Research Paper and Class Presentation (40% of Final Grade, Due May 22)

Students should write an 18-22 page final research paper on a topic related to Mormon women and power. We will share progress on final research in the seminar a few times throughout course, creating opportunities for peer input and supported development. Class presentations are a final chance to receive input from peers. Paper should draw from readings from course and some from outside course (from the Recommended Texts list is fine).

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