Steering Committee

My name is Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye.

 I am a historian of modern China and global Christianity. I have a particular interest in the history of global charismatic Christian movements, including the True Jesus Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My recent book, China and the True Jesus: Charisma and Organization in a Chinese Christian Church, explores the relationship between miraculous power and bureaucratic power in the history of a Chinese Christian Pentecostal church. In addition to publications on the history of modern China, I have also written articles on topics such as global Mormonism and women’s participation in religious movements.

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.

Shí éí Bilagáanaa nishłí̹ dóó Kinyaa’áanii báshíshchíín. Bilagáanaa dashicheii dóó Tsinaajinii dashinálí. Farina King yinishyé.

As a Diné scholar, I introduce myself by my clans and family history. I am Bilagáanaa (English-American), born for Kinyaa’áanii (the Towering House Clan) of the Diné (Navajo). My mother is of English-American descent from Michigan, and my father is Navajo from the Rehoboth, New Mexico checkerboard region of Diné Bikéyah (Navajo land). My maternal grandfather was European-American, and my paternal grandfather was Tsinaajinii (Black-streaked Woods People Clan) of the Diné. I am a citizen of the Navajo Nation. I was born in Tó Naneesdizí (Tuba City) and lived in the Navajo Nation as a small child, until my family moved to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where my father worked for the Indian Health Service.


I accepted a position as the Horizon Chair in Native American Ecology and Culture and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma, which begins in August 2022. I have been an Associate Professor of History at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, in the homelands of the Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees. I have also served as an affiliate of the Cherokee and Indigenous Studies Department and the Director of the NSU Center for Indigenous Community Engagement. I am the current President of the Southwest Oral History Association (2021-2022).

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 (PhD, The University of Iowa), I have increasingly brought the latter field into dialogue with globalization studies. Since 2014, I have conducted ethnographic research on the RLDS/Community of Christ in Asia, with a focus on the highlands of eastern India and the rural Philippines.

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 Spencer Greenhalgh.

I am an assistant professor of information communication technology in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky. I am an interdisciplinary, “digital methods” researcher studying meaning-making practices on online platforms. My training is as an educational technology researcher, but I also study social media and other online platforms as they relate to other contexts, including Mormon Studies.

My name is Michelle Graabek


Michelle Graabek is a doctoral researcher at the European University Institute in the department of History & Civilization. Her key research interest lies in cultural identity and community among migrant groups, women’s religious history and transnational history. Her current research focuses on culture and community among Danish Latter-day Saint immigrant women in Utah during the late nineteenth century.