Associate Professor of Religious Studies Quincy Newell recently published a book and two articles, all about Jane Elizabeth Manning James, an early African American convert to Mormonism.
Narrating Jane: Telling the Story of an Early African American Mormon Woman is part of the Leonard J. Arrington Series published by the Utah State University (USU) Press. The book is based on Newell’s lecture by the same name, presented as the 21st Annual Arrington Lecture at USU in 2015.
In the lecture and book, Newell analyzed recent interest in James, who joined the Mormon church in the mid-1800s. She discussed how recent talk about James shows that “she has become a way for Latter-Day Saints to talk about both gender and race in ways that create a usable past for the 21st century.”
Newell also published articles on James. “What Jane James Saw” appears in Directions for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Patrick Q. Mason. She contributed “Jane James’s Agency” to Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Kate Holbrook and Matthew Bowman. Both volumes were published by The University of Utah Press.
In addition, Religion in the American West, a recently-launched book series by the Stanford University Press, is being co-edited by Newell and Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp of Washington University in St. Louis.
Of her participation in the project, Newell said “this will be an opportunity to shape the field [of religion in the American West] and cultivate new scholarship in ways that will have a big impact on the field.”