Steering Committee

My name is Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye.


I’m a fourth-generation Chinese-Japanese American. My Chinese great-grandfather came to the US from Guangdong province as a “paper son” and established himself as a farmer in Utah, where he was known as “the Celery King”. My major research field is the history of Christianity in China. I am particularly interested in the intersection of miraculous discourse with global modernity.

My name is Amy Hoyt.


I am a scholar, activist and a mom of 5 kids (ages 13 ,9, 7, 4, and 4,). I am affiliated with the University of the Pacific, a small liberal arts college in northern California, and have been there for 10 years. My passion is gender, religion and justice. My current work is in Rwanda, where I co-lead a team of scholars on several projects, including how women use religion as a resource for reconciliation.


My name is Ignacio Garcia.

My name is Ignacio M. Garcia and I’m the Lemuel Hardison Redd Jr. Professor of Western & Latino History at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. My degree is in American/Chicana/o history from the University of Arizona. My seven books have dealt with Chicano/Latino politics, civil rights, community studies and sports. I also wrote a memoir, Chicano While Mormon, in which I talk about growing up Latter-day Saint in Texas, going into the Army, serving a tour in Vietnam, then going to the university and becoming involved in the Chicano Movement for civil rights. It is my effort to explain how an orthodox young man, raised in a Mexican branch, became an activist and a scholar while retaining his faith and serving faithfully in his church.

My name is Julie Allen.

I’m a Professor of Comparative Arts and Letters at BYU; before that, I worked in the Scandinavian Studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for ten years. Most of my research has focused on questions of national and cultural identity, particularly in Denmark and among Danish American immigrants.

My name is Farina King.

Farina King, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, is Assistant Professor of History and affiliated faculty of Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

My name is David Howlett.

My research consistently engages various forms of religious mobility: e.g., pilgrimage journeys, changing understandings of sacred places, transnational connections between groups, and religious conversion. Trained initially as a historian of religions in North America, I have increasingly brought the latter field into dialogue with globalization studies.

Aloha! Chiung Hwang Chen here.


I am a professor at BYU Hawaii. My main research interests include gender, race, religion, and political issues in media and cultural studies. I have two daughters: one is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, and another in high school. My husband, Ethan Yorgason, is a cultural geographer and also keen on Mormon studies.


My name is Carter Charles.


I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. My father named me Carter because like many Haitians, he loved things Americans. I tend to think of myself as a socio-historian, a term used in some academic circles in France to refer to scholars who approach a research subject from a trans-disciplinary perspective. My Ph.D is in American Studies and focused on the political integration of Mormons in the United States from Reed Smoot to Mitt Romney (2013).


My name is Fred Axelgard.


I’m an internationalist at heart, and this informs pretty much everything I do. My degrees are in political science and international relations. I spent 5 years in the 90’s as a negotiator in Arab-Israeli peace issues, and lived in Saudi Arabia for 4 years after that. My wife and I have 5 children and 13 grandchildren, 7 of whom are in Germany or India.



My name is David Morris.

David M. Morris was awarded a PhD in History and Sociology of Religion (University of Southampton, 2010) with a focus on Victorian Studies and particularly British Mormonism, with interests in the tension between class and religion, whether that be migration, death studies or missiology.

His most recent publication is Mormonism in Europe: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, with fellow editors Kim B. Östman and Irén E. Annus sees 16 authors sharing a wide perspective of European Mormonism.