In this podcast, Heather Olson Beal interviews three essayists who contributed to the book Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection: Caroline Kline (who also co-edited the book with Dr. Claudia Bushman), Anna Rolapp, and Elizabeth Mott. In this podcast, we discuss the Claremont Women’s Oral History Project in general and then discuss four essays in greater depth: Caroline’s essay on Mormon women’s conceptions of the self, Anna’s essay on Mormon women and California’s Proposition 8, Elizabeth’s essay on Mormon single women, and Caroline’s essay on Mormon women’s attitudes towards and feelings about patriarchy.
The Claremont Women’s Oral History Project has collected hundreds of interviews with Mormon women of various ages, experiences, and levels of activity. These interviews record the experiences of these women in their homes and family life, their church life, and their work life, in their roles as homemakers, students, missionaries, career women, single women, converts, and disaffected members. Their stories feed into and illuminate the broader narrative of LDS history and belief, filling in a large gap in Mormon history that has often neglected the lived experiences of women. This project preserves and perpetuates their voices and memories, allowing them to say share what has too often been left unspoken. The silent majority speaks in these records. This volume is the first to explore the riches of the collection in print. A group of young scholars and others have used the interviews to better understand what Mormonism means to these women and what women mean for Mormonism. They explore those interviews through the lenses of history, doctrine, mythology, feminist theory, personal experience, and current events to help us understand what these women have to say about their own faith and lives.
Other essays address important topics, such as fertility, motherhood, adversity, womanliness, callings, revelation, missions, agency, the Relief Society, and Heavenly Mother.
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