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. With that clarified, this was actually one of the most flattering invitations I’ve received to speak about my research. Over the past several months, I’ve found that there’s a large non-academic audience for Mormon Studies research, and it’s been great to get some attention from parts of that audience for my ongoing research.
All of this is to say that next weekend, Amy and I will be speaking on our DezNat research, combining a discussion on [our published paper]((https://jmssa.org/greenhalgh/) on far-right and anti-feminist trends within the movement’s Twitter presence with a preview of some of our ongoing work on how DezNat thinks about religious authority in online spaces—and what that means for Mormonism (and religion) more broadly. I’m really excited about this (slow-moving) second paper, because once you get past the awful red pill content in DezNat tweets, there are some really interesting questions about how authority works in a church that puts a lot of emphasis on authority.
Our conversation will take place on Saturday, October 14th, at 7pm Pacific Time, 10pm Eastern (which is past my bedtime, but oh well), at this Zoom link. We’ve confirmed that the fireside organizers that first-timers are more than welcome, and Amy and I are more than happy to have anyone who’s interested in our research.
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