Department of Social Anthropology
bsas seminar

Department seminar: Fenella Cannell

The Department of Social Anthropology is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Dr. Fenella Cannell (LSE). The title of the lecture is "Bodies in the snow: Mormon women, apostasy and ‘life writing’ as religious practice".

Snowy landscape
Interpretation of sacred authority and Mormon feminism amongst the Latter-day Saints are central topics on Dr. Cannell's talk on Thursday.
Fenella Cannell

Main content

Seminar paper

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) often claims to deal in certainty about the meaning of the past,  and clarity about the lines of religious authority. From the outside, it is often imagined as a church full of people who all believe in the same things and share the same atitudes.

In reality, however, while Latter-day Saints value loyalty to their church they also struggle with complex divergences in the interpretation of sacred authority, including in relation to Mormon feminism. This presentation considers one set of stories told by Mormon women excommunicates, and follows the ways in which they work to reconcile their experiences with sacred authority indirectly, by mobilising traditions of religious life-writing.

About the lecturer

Dr. Fenella Cannell is Associate Professor at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Sh is a specialist in Southeast Asian anthropology, and has also conducted research on kinship and religion in the United States. Most recently, she has conducted a two-year research project on American kinship and religion, with a particular focus on Mormonism in upstate New York and in Utah. In addition, Dr. Cannell has written more broadly on the relationship between Christianity and social theory.

Light refreshments will be served in the Corner Room after the seminar. All interested are welcome!