Upcoming Criticism Project



Next year marks the twentieth anniversary of Eugene England and Lavina Fielding Anderson’sTending the Garden: Essays on Mormon Literature. As the first anthology of Mormon literary criticism, it was an important step forward in the development of Mormon literary studies and served a generation of scholars well.

Unfortunately, while the essays in Tending the Garden remain useful, the volume itself has become outdated. Over the last two decades, Mormon literature and literary studies have evolved in surprising ways, thanks in part to the ongoing efforts of the Association for Mormon Letters and the rise of the internet. Indeed, as foretold by Lavina Fielding Anderson in her preface to Tending the Garden, the internet has allowed discussions of Mormon literature to extend beyond the borders of the Wasatch Front, introducing fresh insights and enabling a more global understanding of Mormon literature. Moreover, it has allowed scholars, authors, and enthusiasts of Mormon literature from around the world to feel a sense of community and engage actively in the ongoing development of Mormon literature and Mormon literary studies.

In light of recent anthologies of short Mormon fiction, Mormon poetry, and Mormon drama, Scott Hales is beginning a new anthology of Mormon literary theory and criticism. The first part of the anthology will collect essays from the last twenty years about theoretical and practical approaches to writing and analyzing Mormon literature, while the second part will collect essays from the same time period about specific Mormon texts or literary trends.

To find these essays, he will be going through back issues of the AML Annual, Irreantum, DialogueSunstone, and other periodicals that have published on Mormon literature. Significant posts advancing our understanding of the field will likewise be drawn from blogs like A Motley Vision and Dawning of a Brighter Day. However, we are also extending a call for papers to gather any previously published or unpublished material that may be out there.

Essay submissions should address Mormon literature and be no longer than 10,000 words. The collection seeks to examine Mormon literature broadly, so essays about literary works by or about Mormons will be considered, even if the literary works themselves have no overt Mormon content. For a submission to receive full consideration, however, it should approach these works as Mormon literature or expressions of Mormon thought.

Send inquiries and submissions to criticismproject@peculiarpages.com. The deadline is December 1, 2015.


An open conversation regarding suggestions for previously published work (and side issues of the project that you would like Scott Hales to consider) is being held at A Motley Vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *