The Claremont Women's Oral History Project has collected hundreds of interviews with Mormon women of various ages, experiences, and levels of activity. These interviews record the experiences of these women in their homes and family life, their church life, and their work life, in their roles as homemakers, students, missionaries, career women, single women, converts, and disaffected members. Their stories feed into and illuminate the broader narrative of LDS history and belief, filling in a large gap in Mormon history that has often neglected the lived experiences of women. This project preserves and perpetuates their voices and memories, allowing them to say share what has too often been left unspoken. The silent majority speaks in these records.
This volume is the first to explore the riches of the collection in print. A group of young scholars and others have used the interviews to better understand what Mormonism means to these women and what women mean for Mormonism. They explore those interviews through the lenses of history, doctrine, mythology, feminist theory, personal experience, and current events to help us understand what these women have to say about their own faith and lives.
Praise for Mormon Women Have Their Say:
"Mormon women have always had a lot to say, but generation after generation, their voices fade away. The problem is not just that archives and manuals favor the writings of male leaders. The real problem is that few of us know how to listen to seemingly common stories. We revere our sisters but don’t understand them. The essays in this volume go beyond collecting and preserving to the hard work of interpretation. Using a variety of analytical techniques and their own savvy, the authors connect ordinary lives with enduring themes in Latter-day Saint faith and history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, author of Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
"Essential. Since the 19th century, Mormon women have been stereotyped as voiceless victims of our own faith. This book and the larger oral history project it represents amplify the steady, thoughtful, articulate voices of everyday Mormon women as we actually are, weighing in on issues that truly matter: belief, authority, service, family, personal revelation, work, and gender. Caroline Kline and Claudia Bushman have done a major and necessary service for Mormon Studies. In these pages, Mormon women will find ourselves. --Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl: A Memoir of an American Faith
"This book is both a product and a celebration of the important project on women's oral histories inaugurated by Claudia Bushman at Claremont Graduate University. However, these essays are not merely transcripts of various interviews. Rather, they are insightful and interpretive essays illustrating major themes recurring in these oral histories. The varieties of women's responses to the major issues in their lives will provide many surprises for the reader, who will be struck by how many different ways there are to be a thoughtful and faithful Latter-day Saint woman." --Armand Mauss, author of All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage