Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Joseph Spencer


Elizabeth Fenton, interview, The Book of Mormon, seminar, criticism


Elizabeth Fenton's first book-Religious Liberties: Anti-Catholicism and Liberal Democracy in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture-appeared in 2011. The next year, she began presenting work on the Book of Mormon, first in a conference paper at the annual convention of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and then in an invited lecture at the University of Maryland titled "Why Americanists Should Read The Book of Mormon." In 2013, she published her conference presentation from the previous year in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. The next year, Fenton organized a panel at C19 focused on the Book of Mormon, which drew the attention of Jared Hickman and opened the door to an important collaborative project, soon to come to fruition in the form of Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon, a collection of essays by various scholars forthcoming from Oxford University Press. In 2016, Fenton presented again at C19 on the Book of Mormon (this time in a comparative study involving The Anarchiad), and she also published in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies a review essay focused on Grant Hardy's Understanding the Book of Mormon. The past five or six years have, for Fenton, been focused in a remarkable way on literary study of the Book of Mormon.