Seminars

zappowbam: Collecting Mormon Comics and Pop Culture – Trevor Alvord

This session will look at the Mormon world of popular culture, emphasizing comics, games, and popular media.  Attendees will be able to view several iterations of the graphic novelization of the Book of Mormon, comic books by and about Mormons, board and role-playing games, and several depictions of Mormons in television and film.  Featuring: Howard Tayler, Ric Estrada, Tyler Kirkham, Watson Heston, Tracy Hickman and many more.

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Utah Art at the Keyboard – Janet B. Bradford and Lynn Richard Carson

This seminar will highlight items from the  Lynn R. Carson music collection.  Artistic sheet music covers of Utah from the 1880s to the 1940s will be shown and discussed. These images provide historical perspectives on a variety of subjects from early landscapes, political campaigns, and patriotic themes, to social customs and dancing.  Come and discover how Utah and Mormons were portrayed in London in 1890 and on Broadway in 1913.

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Beyond the Volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers – Robin Scott Jensen

When finished, the Joseph Smith Papers project will comprise dozens of volumes and a dynamic website, both of which will contain a wealth of information on Joseph Smith and the history of the early church. For novices and scholars alike, the volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers can be, at times, daunting. Robin Scott Jensen, associate managing historian and project archivist, will review the history of the project and strategies on how best to use the volumes in one’s own research.  Jensen will also share stories of discoveries, setbacks, and future plans (with an emphasis on items of interest to book collectors, including a “behind the scenes” look at the production of a typical volume). Drawing from the rich collections of the BYU special collection, several important manuscripts featured in the Joseph Smith Papers’ volumes will be shown at the class. Jensen will also discuss the ways document and book collectors have assisted the Joseph Smith Papers project and what they can continue to do to improve the project, making the series a rich treasure for future generations.

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Peepshows and Panoramas: the Victorian 3D Experience! – Maggie Gallup Kopp and Christina Thomas

Before the advent of film and photography, artists and printers developed innovative paper objects to allow people to virtually experience memorable events and scenery. These “optical entertainments” included the peepshow (or tunnel book), which recreated a three-dimensional scene out of printed, shaped paper panels, and the printed panorama, which depicted views in time and space by means of consecutive illustrated panels. This session will examine the history and construction of these charming collectibles, using original peepshows and panoramas from Victorian Britain and a few examples from modern book artists.

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Card’s Game: Collectible Orson Scott Card – Robert L. Maxwell

The release of the movie Ender’s Game in November 2013 has brought with it renewed interest in Orson Scott Card, particularly in Utah. Orson Scott Card is a good example of a collectible contemporary author. This seminar will use Card as an example of how to go about collecting the published output of such an author.

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A Proclamation from the Lord: Broadsides, Posters, and Handbills in the Print Culture of Mormonism – Gregory Seppi

Literally from the inception of movable-type printing broadsides have been an oft-used format for dissemination of the written word. Indeed, even before the completion of Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible several broadside indulgences were produced for Pope Nicolaus V no later than the year 1454. Other early broadsides were used for the circulation of royal proclamations, official notices, and political statements, sometimes to express opposition to authoritarian rule. It should not, therefore, be surprising that Mormons would also use this printing format to issue a variety of religious publications from the earliest decades of Mormonism through the present day. This seminar will examine all manner of Mormon broadsides from publications of scripture and early proclamations to recent pronouncements such as The Living Christ and The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

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On Bended Knee: An Appreciation of Devotional Literature – Russ Taylor

This session will explore various types of religious devotional texts in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, including medieval scriptural texts, books of hours, and other examples of private devotional works. We will examine the volumes of The Saint John’s Bible and hear about how this beautiful work of art was created, both from Father Eric and through videos featuring Donald Jackson, artistic director for the project.

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Breaking Though The Religion Taboo: Contemporary Mormon Children’s Fiction – Rachel L. Wadham

Throughout their history, books for children have broken though a number of societal taboos to address many sensitive topics important to children’s cognitive and social development. Most scholars agree that religion is one of the last great taboos that has yet to be cracked.  Most publishers shy away from religious topics; but when it comes to independent publishers, religion is alive and well.  In this presentation we will look at these publishers of contemporary Mormon children’s fiction and take a critical look at the works they produce that address religious themes.  A brief history of Mormon children’s fiction and how it fits into both the wider tradition of children’s literature and the broader market of Christian publishing will start us off.  We will then explore the wide diversity of genre and formats offered by contemporary publishers.  Lastly, we will discuss how to determine quality both in literary structure and book construction using as an example the collections developed at BYU so collectors can hone in on the best offerings in the market today.

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