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Call for Papers 2012

Conference Theme:  Economies and Humanities
Conference Date:  May 18–19, 2012
Proposal Deadline:  February 15, 2012

Human beings have material needs. We claim, use, and trade the physical resources of earth and seas. We produce goods and services that we use or, not being self-sufficient, exchange. To the ancient Greeks, the consumer—the “we”—was a household. (The term “economy” derives from the Greek οἴκονομία, meaning management of household labor and material resources.) Today the household remains the unit responsible for consumption decisions, and its internal roles adapt to external demands for members’ labor.

We also have spiritual needs. God’s “economy concerning this earth” (D&C 77:6) has included a “household of faith” (Gal. 6:10) in which members “were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift” (4 Ne. 1:3). God satisfies our spiritual needs as we participate with faith in His economy of salvation.

Poets, philosophers, historians, and artists have reflected upon material and spiritual economies. This conference invites humanities scholars to address the following and related questions:
  1. What material economies are most beneficial to human well-being? What is human well-being? What role does material prosperity have in it?
  2. What economic systems or practices are harmful to human beings? Are there limits to what should be exchanged for goods or services in a market? If so, what justifies these limits?
  3. Which economic systems most support the creation and sustaining of families? How do economic arrangements impact the roles of parent, child, spouse, husband, wife, brother, sister, etc.?
  4. Which economic arrangements are most conducive to creating a “household of faith” among believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are some economic systems harmful to that household?
  5. What is God’s “economy concerning this earth”? Does the divine economy have any implications for human behavior in worldly economies?
  6. What do the humanities teach us about the nature and value of work, thrift, waste, generosity, greed, trade, employment, exploitation, money, wealth, poverty, or luxury?
  7. What do the humanities teach us about the benefits and hazards of high tech economies? What about the benefits or limitations of farm-based economies, historical or contemporary?
  8. How are the humanities themselves impacted by economic arrangements and vicissitudes?

Submission Guidelines

We encourage LDS scholars in all fields of the humanities, arts, and history to propose papers or complete panels on the theme. Creative submissions on the theme in story, verse, drama, or visual form are also invited. Submit your proposal, including a 200-word abstract, through the on-line form at Submission deadline: February 15, 2012.

Conference Location

The 2012 conference will be held at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, Virginia. Discounted on-campus housing is available on May 17–20. See registration form and further details at


To accomplish its mission of supporting LDS scholars, MSH will, in conjunction with the conference, offer individual mentoring on scholarly research and writing for publication. Send requests to

Please post the attached Call for Papers in your department.
John Armstrong,
Jan 2, 2012, 9:26 AM