Quincy D. Newell
Position title: Kingdon Fellow (2023-2024)
Walcott-Bartlett Chair of Humanistic Studies, Religious Studies Department, Hamilton College
Marginal Mormons: African Americans and Native Americans in the Nineteenth-Century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
How did nineteenth-century Black and Native American members of the majority-white Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon Church) construct individual and communal identities that incorporated both their racial/ethnic/tribal and religious identities? I examine religious discourse regarding Black and Native American Mormons; explore how religious and racial identity co-constituted one another through both mundane and religious activities; and analyze the construction of family, kinship, and community by Latter-day Saints of color. I argue that for nineteenth-century Mormons, religion and race co-constituted one another so that Black and Native American Latter-day Saints experienced their religion differently than white Mormons.
Quincy D. Newell is the a specialist in the religious history of the American West. A native of Oregon, she attended Amherst College and did her graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Newell taught at the University of Wyoming for eleven years before joining the faculty at Hamilton College in 2015. She has published numerous books and articles on topics related to religion in the American West. Her article “What Jane James Saw” won both the 2017 Best Article in Mormon Women’s History from the Mormon History Association and the 2018 Jane Dempsey Douglass Prize from the American Society of Church History. The subject of that article, Jane James, is also the focus of Newell’s most recent book, Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon (Oxford University Press, 2019). Newell’s scholarship has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including Church History, Religion and American Culture, Journal of Africana Religions, and American Indian Quarterly.