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Mormon Studies


 In 2010, Professor Bob Goldberg, then director of the Tanner Humanities Center, launched the Mormon Studies Initiative at the University of Utah. Now over a decade old, that groundbreaking work continues under the leadership of Professor Paul Reeve, Simmons Chair of Mormon Studies who carries on the tradition of encouraging vibrant, intellectual exploration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all religious traditions that trace their roots to Joseph Smith or accept the Book of Mormon as scripture. Since its inception, the Mormon Studies Initiative has conducted workshops on the latest scholarship in Mormon Studies, sponsored conferences, hosted lectures, and housed the only Mormon Studies Graduate Research Fellowship in the nation. The initiative is also home to pathbreaking research of its own, such as the award winning Century of Black Mormons database. Our team of graduate research assistants and other scholars have worked for years to research and write detailed biographies of Black Latter-day Saints who lived between 1830 and 1930 and were otherwise forgotten. It is a constantly expanding database which just hit an important milestone of 130 entries. When the project is complete, we expect to have approximately 300 biographies on the site. The Mormon Studies Initiative continues to foster additional research and publications and promises to be the hub of important new scholarship in the field. Please visit to keep up with the latest developments.
Paul Reeve

Paul Reeve

W. Paul Reeve is the Simmons Chair of Mormon Studies in the History Department at the University of Utah where he teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West. His book, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, (Oxford, 2015) received the Mormon History Association’s Best Book Award, the John Whitmer Historical Association’s Smith-Pettit Best Book Award, and the Utah State Historical Society’s Francis Armstrong Madsen Best History Book Award. He is the recipient of the Utah Council for the Social Studies’ University Teacher of the Year award, the University of Utah’s Early Career Teaching Award, and the College of Humanities’ Ramona W. Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities.


Last Updated: 4/12/23