A 2011 Mormon Literary Studies Bibliography

It is sometimes hard to get a sense of how much is going on in Mormon literary studies. The problem is that there is a lot going on that isn’t happening in Utah or among those associated with the Association for Mormon Letters. I’m not suggesting that the AML and what is happening in Utah isn’t valuable, just that some subjects attract others.

Of course, that may be overstating that a little. What struck me as I compiled this list of studies of Mormon literature is the number of studies about Twilight. I must confess that I was a little surprised at the academic attention Twilight got, especially when Tyler put together a Twilight studies project. So, the preponderance of studies not from Mormon sources in the list below proved the wisdom of Tyler’s work. I suppose any popular work is going to get some attention, so quick, start the studies of Ally Condie’s works!!

The works below were culled from a variety of sources, everything from Amazon.com to UMI’s dissertation database. I’ve pulled out the references to Twilight and Angels in America, which were the most frequent subjects of academic studies that mentioned Mormonism.

So that it is clear, the results below represent searches for the terms “Mormon” and “Latter-day Saints.” It is possible that there are other studies that should be included below.


  • Baym, Nina. . 1st ed. University of Illinois Press, 2011.


  • Frost, Randi. “The Plan of Salvation:Mormon Doctrine Embodied Through Postmodern Contemporary Dance”. Arizona State Univerity, 2011.
  • Newberry, Ruth. “Wallace Stegner’s “˜Wolf Willow’ and 1960s Critical Essays: Renarrativizing Western American Literature for the West and for America”. Ph.D., English, Duquesne University, 2011.


  • Barney, Kevin L. “Saint Jana: Jana Riess’s “˜Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor’.” Irreantum 13, no. 2 (2011): 139″“145.
  • Bivona, Daniel. “Richard F. Burton, Polygamy, and the Worlding of the American West.” The Yearbook of English Studies 41, no. 2 (2011): 73″“93.
  • Craner, Laura Hilton. “Everything That Actually Matters Is Real”˜: Anneke Major’s ‘The Year of the Boar.” Irreantum 13, no. 2 (2011): 135″“139.
  • Fenton, Elizabeth. “The Secularization Narrative and Nineteenth”Century American Literature.” In A Companion to American Literary Studies, edited by Caroline F. Levander and Robert S. Levine, 61″“76. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2011.
  • Goldberg, James. “Wrestling with God: Invoking Scriptural Mythos and Language in LDS Literary Works.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 71″“82.
  • Hales, Scott. “Modern Mormon Family: Angela Hallstrom’s “˜Bound on Earth’.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 119″“122.
  • Hansen, Helynne. “Mormonism 101 as LDS Literature Enters the Mainstream: Elna Baker’s The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 89″“98.
  • Hilton III, John; Wiley. “.” Journal of Electronic Publishing 14, no. 1 (Summer 2011).
  • Langford, Jonathan. “Candidate for the Great Mormon Novel: Douglas Thayer’s “˜The Tree House’.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 109″“116.
  • McIntyre, Stephen. “The Literary Concerns of My Church: Copyright and Control in Mormonism.” Sunstone, no. 165 (December 2011): 47″“54.
  • Needle, Jeffrey. “A Mix of Ancient Mystery and Ponderous Prophecy: A Cautionary Review — Phyllis Gunderson’s “˜The Jaguar Prophecies’.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 116″“119.
  • Neumann, Iver  B. “”˜Religion in Sort of a Global Sense’: The Relevance of Religious Practices for Political Community in Battlestar Galactica and Beyond.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 26, no. 3 (2011): 387″“401.
  • Patterson, Dayna. “From Polygamy to Pioneers: Ambivalence in 20th-Century Mormon Literature.” Plaza: Dialogues in Language and Literature 1, no. 1 (December 4, 2011): 24″“29.
  • Soper, Kathryn Lynard. “On the Redemptive Alchemy of Memoir.” Irreantum 13, no. 1 (2011): 83″“88.
  • Talley, Kevin L. “The Architecture of a Poem: Lance Larson’s “˜Backyard Alchemy’.” Irreantum 13, no. 2 (2011): 145″“152.
  • Tanner, Lili. The Lazy Poet, 2011. Thomas, M. Wynn. “Review of Edward Whitley, American Bards: Walt Whitman and Other Unlikely Candidates for National Poet (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010, $49.95).” Journal of American Studies 45, no. 03 (2011).

Angels in America

  • Hogan, Katie. “Green Angels in America: Aesthetics of Equity.” The Journal of American Culture 35, no. 1 (March 1, 2012): 4″“14.
  • Reilly, Patrick. “The Aesthetics of Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times”. Ph.D., Comparative Literature, City University of New York, 2011.
  • Westgate, J. Chris. Urban Drama: The Metropolis in Contemporary North American Plays. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.


  • Anatol, Giselle Liza, ed. Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on a Pop Culture Phenomenon. 1st ed. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Babu, Aiswarya S. “Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight: A Vampire Tale?“ The IUP Journal of American Literature IV, no. 2 (May 2011): 37″“45.
  • Borgia, Danielle N. “Twilight: The Glamorization of Abuse, Codependency, and White Privilege.“ The Journal of Popular Culture (n.d.).
  • Crosby, Amy R. “Romanticized Images of Sexual Victimization in Young Adult Literature: The “˜Twilight’ Series”. M.L.A.S., Sociology, Western Illinois University, 2011.
  • Fäller, Kathrin. “And It’s All There” – Intertextual Structures, Themes, and Characters in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” Series. GRIN Verlag, 2011.
  • Guillard, Julianne. “The “˜Twilight’ of Our Years: Text, Identity, and Reader Subjectivity”. Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2011.
  • Heath, Elaine A. The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God. Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.
  • Heit, Jamey. Vader, Voldemort and Other Villains: Essays on Evil in Popular Media. Edited by Jamey Heit. McFarland, 2011.
  • Herrera, Silvia E. “The New Woman Persona in “˜Dracula’ and the “˜Twilight’ Series: An Elliptical Struggle of Social Order”. M.A., Department of English, The University of Texas – Pan American, 2011.
  • Kisner, Adrienne L. “Reading Between the Lines: The Potential of Popular Young Adult Fiction in Adolescent Spiritual Formation”. Ph.D., Boston University School of Theology, 2011.
  • Kokkola, Lydia. “Virtuous Vampires and Voluptuous Vamps: Romance Conventions Reconsidered in Stephenie Meyer’s “˜Twilight’ Series.” Children’s Literature in Education 42, no. 2 (June 1, 2011): 165″“179.
  • Lampert-Weissig, Lisa. “A Latter Day Eve: Reading Twilight Through Paradise Lost.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 23, no. 3 (November 1, 2011): 330″“341.
  • Landers, Jessica Marie. “The Modern Vampire Phenomenon Paradox: Simultaneous Contradictions and Unlimited Limits”. M.A., Graduate School – New Brunswick, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, 2011.
  • Mercer, Joyce. “Vampires, Desire, Girls and God: Twilight and the Spiritualities of Adolescent Girls.” Pastoral Psychology 60, no. 2 (April 1, 2011): 263″“278.
  • Parke, Maggie. Theorizing Twilight: Critical Essays on What’s at Stake in a Post-Vampire World. Edited by Maggie Parke and Natalie Wilson. McFarland, 2011.
  • Pearson, Jennifer. “Representations of Native American Characters in Stephenie Meyer’s “˜Twilight’ Saga”. M.A., English, East Carolina University, 2011.
  • Petersen, Anne  Helen. “That Teenage Feeling.” Feminist Media Studies 12, no. 1 (2012): 51″“67.
  • Smyth, Karen Elizabeth. “”˜What’s a Nice Mormon Girl Like You Doing Writing About Vampires?’: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. Master’s Thesis, College of William and Mary, 2011.
  • Sutton, Travis, and Harry M. Benshoff. “”˜Forever Family’ Values: Twilight and the Modern Mormon Vampire.” In Horror After 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror, edited by Aviva Briefel and Sam J. Miller. University of Texas Press, 2011.
  • Wilson, Natalie. Seduced by Twilight: The Allure and Contradictory Messages of the Popular Saga. McFarland, 2011.

15 thoughts on “A 2011 Mormon Literary Studies Bibliography”

  1. Great listing, Kent. Thanks for putting it together.

    Somewaht surprised “Angels in America” is still receiving attention.

    (Must…resist…the urge…to comment about the aptness of a paper entitled “Plague Literature.”)

  2. Yes, thanks. I’m not surprised that Twilight is still generating scholarship, but the amount of it is a bit eye opening.

    I wish there was a good way to capture master’s theses as well as dissertations because I suspect that more Mormon-literary specific work happens at the thesis level.

    I’ve downloaded the Dayna Patterson article and am hoping to find time to read it.

  3. I wish there was a good way to capture master’s theses as well as dissertations because I suspect that more Mormon-literary specific work happens at the thesis level.

    You should be able to find a lot of them on WorldCat. (Do a keyword or subject search at http://www.worldcat.org and then limit your results to “thesis/dissertation.”) Here’s one from 2011:

    Smyth, Karen E. “what’s a Nice Mormon Girl Like You Doing Writing About Vampires?”: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

  4. Oh I’m sorry Kent, how did I miss that? Anyway, Wm., WorldCat does include master’s theses.

  5. This is really great, Kent. Thanks for doing the legwork (as it were).

    I’m interested in your methodology. My main question: How are you defining “Mormon literary studies”, though I’m mostly interested in the “where” of this question (if that makes sense)? For instance, this list seems interested in articles published only in print and/or in what might be considered peer-reviewed journals? Why has the work published on Mormon lit blogs not made the cut (I think particularly of Scott Hales’ “The Low-Tech World: Exploring Mormon Literature” and even “Ships of Hagoth: An Experiment in LDS Critical Theory”, though there are others)? I recognize that not all of the work published on blogs is great, but it seems to me that the a good part of the field of Mormon literary studies is ripening online. I wonder if it would be worth acknowledging and somehow documenting that work?

    Also, what about the essays—Prefaces, Forewords, Afterwords, and such—published in recent Mormon Lit anthologies (like Fire in the Pasture and Monsters & Mormons?

  6. Thanks, Katya.

    And: I can’t speak for Kent, but I would hope that that the readers of this blog are already aware of the other lit blogs since they show up in the sidebar and get referenced in posts. The collecting of print work is a more valuable use of time because it’s something that not all of us know how to do (or have time to do, or have access to the right tools to do).

  7. I see that point, Wm. And I don’t mean in the least to take away from the value of Kent’s bibliography. But I also wonder if it would be of use to glean the best posts from the MoLit blogs and to compile them with the work published in print. I’m just thinking out loud though…

    Also, Kent: since you’ve included the book reviews from 2011’s Irreantums, what about the reviews from BYU Studies and Dialogue?

  8. Items from BYU Studies:
    Harrell, Jack. “The Search for Mormon Literary Quality: Bound on Earth, Rift, Long After Dark, and The Best of Mormonism 2009.” BYU Studies 50, no. 1 (2011): 154-58.
    Merica, Jolene. “The Educational Philosophy of Eliza R. Snow [as exhibited in four poems].” BYU Studies 50, no. 2 (2011): 159-77.
    Howe, Susan Elizabeth. “[Review of] Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry edited by Jill Mulvay Derr, Karen Lynn Davidson.” BYU Studies 50, no. 2 (2011): 183-87.
    Gessel, Van C. “Coming to Terms: The Challenge of Creating Christian Vocabulary in a Non-Christian Land.” BYU Studies 50, no. 3 (2011): 33-60.
    d’Evegnee, Eric. “[Review of] Quotidiana by Patrick Madden.” BYU Studies 50, no. 4 (2011): 169-72.

    The issue in the mail right now has a review of Dispensation, and we will be reviewing Monsters and Mormons.

  9. From Dialogue:

    Scott, David W. “The Discursive Construct of Virtual Angels, Temples, and Religious Worship: Mormon Theology and Culture in Second Life.” Dialogue 44.1 (2011): 85-104.

    Astle, Randy. “Mormonism Goes Mainstream.” Rev. of Peculiar Portrayals: Mormons on the Page, Stage, and Screen ed. Mark T. Decker and Michael Austin. Dialogue 44.1 (2011): 191-5.

    Soper, Kathryn Lynard. “Pirouettes on Strings.” Rev. of Raw Edges by Phyllis Barber. Dialogue 44.1 (2011): 195-8.

    Marler, Myrna Dee. “Navigating Mortality.” Rev. of Dispensation: Latter-day Fiction ed. Angela Hallstrom. Dialogue 44.1 (2011): 205-7.

    Miller, Adam S. “Recompense.” Dialogue 44.2 (2011): 134-42.

    Karamesines, Patricia Gunter. “Why Joseph Went to the Woods: Rootstock for LDS Literary Nature Writers.” Dialogue 44.2 (2011): 119-33.

    Fergus, Rob. “Scry Me a River.” Rev. of Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River by George B. Handley. Dialogue 44.2 (2011): 190-5.

    Rees, Robert A. “The Midrashic Imagination and the Book of Mormon.” Dialogue 44.3 (2011): 44-66.

    Hardy, Heather. “Alma’s Experiment in Faith: A Broader Context.” Dialogue 44.3 (2011): 67-91.

    Hicks, Michael. “Elder Price Superstar.” Rev. of The Book of Mormon (musical) by Trey Parker, Robert Lopex, and Matt Stone. Dialogue 44.4 (2011):226-36.

  10. Van Gessel’s article is about translating Christian concepts and specifically Mormon terms into Japanese. A very interesting discussion of idioms in writing. There is also an accompanying article, “Religious Metaphor and Cross-Cultural Communication: Transforming National and International Identities” by Joseph E. Richardson, which is more about the translation and less about texts, so I didn’t include it.

  11. Sorry I haven’t responded to comments earlier; mu hard drive died, requiring 3 trips to the Apple store & $200 to replace it — fortunately, I had a backup from just hours before the crash so not much data lost. Back up your computers, folks!

    As for methodology, I was more interested in getting the general info together, so I didn’t claim that this was a complete list. But I don’t know how I missed the Dialogue stuff. I missed the. BYU studies reviews because I wasn’t collecting reviews when I did BYU studies.

    As for print v. Online, I wasn’t consciously biased–it was more an issue of what the bibliographic sources collected and what was peer reviewed– although I’m not completely sure about that.

    I do think some blog content should be included, but I’d prefer to come up with some system for identifying what should be included.

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