research on anti-feminist online Mormonism referenced in Salt Lake Tribune column

- kudos:

I enjoy reading Natalie Brown’s columns for the Salt Lake Tribune, so it was a real honor that she referenced research that Amy Chapman and I did on the “DezNat” Twitter movement in last Saturday’s installment. In particular, Brown referenced a comment I made to the Tribune last summer that our findings highlighted anti-feminist influences on the DezNat movement (which has typically been criticized for its far right influences) and that while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion/Mormon Social Science Association slides from this week

- kudos:

A few hours after presenting at AECT on Thursday morning, I hopped on a plane to Salt Lake City, so that I could attend the 2023 conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion—especially the sessions associated with the Mormon Social Science Association. I’m giving three presentations today and wanted to include my slides here for anyone else who’s interested: I’d be happy to talk more about any of these!

upcoming research talk on DezNat for Bainbridge Latter-day Saint fireside series

- kudos:

A couple of months ago, Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned the work that Amy Chapman and I have been doing on the far-right-influenced DezNat movement. Shortly after Peggy’s article was published, someone who coordinates an unofficial series of Latter-day Saint-related firesides reached out to us about speaking to their group about our research on the DezNat movement. Before accepting, we made it clear that our work isn’t devotional, neither of us are practicing Latter-day Saints, and our work could be understood as critical of cultural and institutional Mormonism; however, the fireside organizers said that they were used to getting into controversial topics related to Mormonism and that our work was welcome with them.

Novák, Orbán, and Ballard: the far right and Mormon boundary maintenance

- kudos:

Next month, I’m flying to Salt Lake City to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion to present some of my work about social media, religion, and the far right. I’ll be presenting on three different projects at SSSR—this was biting off more than I could chew, but since two of them connect with Mormonism, Salt Lake suggested the possibility of a larger-than-usual audience for that work, so there you go.

quoted in Salt Lake Tribune article on DezNat movement

- kudos:

This past weekend, Peggy Fletcher Stack at the Salt Lake Tribune published an article about the #DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter, which takes cues from far-right and anti-feminist online communities. In her article, Peggy was kind enough to reference (and quote from) my new publication with Amy Chapman in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association, which presents the (partial) results of a qualitative analysis of over 1,400 DezNat tweets from 2019.

new publication: far-right and anti-feminist influences on a Mormon Twitter hashtag

- kudos:

I am very happy to announce that a paper I wrote with Amy Chapman is finally published and available open access in the Journal of the Mormon Social Science Association (I have also archived a PDF of the article on my website, available at this link). Amy and I began this project in the spring/summer of 2019, so it’s a relief to finally see our first paper in print. In short, the paper is a descriptive look at tweets using the #DezNat hashtag; DezNat, short for either Deseret Nation or Deseret Nationalism (depending on who you ask) is a movement of arch-conservative Mormons on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet.

- kudos:

Remembering the time some trollish critics of research I’m doing with a colleague grabbed the audio from a YouTube video of our conference presentation and remixed it into a song they posted to SoundCloud. It’s supposed to be mocking, but I find it funny.

new presentation: reactionary Mormons and religious authority online

- kudos:

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2022 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion to present research with Amy Chapman on how the reactionary DezNat movement on Mormon Twitter conceptualizes and claims—but ultimately problematizes—religious authority in the online sphere. We presented in one of the sessions sponsored by the Mormon Social Science Association and were lucky enough to have some good conversations and receive some helpful feedback.

when niche research pays off

- kudos:

In my second-to-last year of grad school, I was asked to give a research talk as part of my program’s prospective student day. My talk was representing the “educational technology” part of the program, and the incomparable Kristy Robinson gave a talk reresenting the “educational psychology” part (to this day, when I’m struggling with a bout of imposter syndrome, I still remind myself that my grad program let me present alongside someone of Kristy’s caliber, so I must have something going for me).