Library & Open Learning Services

Library & Open Learning Services

Annual Juanita Brooks Lecture Series


The Juanita Brooks Lecture Series (JBLS) celebrates the legacy and scholarly contributions of Juanita Brooks. The JBLS, sponsored by the Utah Tech Library, promotes and supports learning and intellectual engagement for students, faculty, staff, and community to promote the library as a center of academic research and scholarship at Utah Tech. The lecture series also serves an advocacy and development opportunity for the Library.

Background of Lecture Series

The Juanita Brooks Lecture Series (JBLS) at UT was created in 1984 and endowed two years later by the O. C. Tanner Foundation. There has been, with a few exceptions, one lecture presented each year since.

The JBLS is named in honor of Juanita Brooks, who is a past faculty of UT and is credited as the first person to apply historical research methods to a sensitive Mormon history topic in her book, The Mountain Meadows Massacre. The Mountain Meadows Massacre was a tragedy debated with little objectivity before Brooks, who dealt with the topic neither to “whitewash nor to lay blame”1. She is a well-remembered and loved part of Southern Utah history. Having an academic Southern Utah history lecture series named in Brooks’ honor is fitting and resonates well with the local community.

1 A. R. Mortensen, “Reviewed Work: Mountain Meadows Massacre by Juanita Brooks,” Pacific Historical Review 20, no. 2 (May 1951): 180.


2022 Jennifer Denetdale
Reflections on Diné History: The Photographs of Milton Snow and Livestock Reduction Era Documents
2021 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Juanita Brooks, Caroline Crosby, and The Murder of Olivia Coombs
2020 Martha Bradley-Evans
Constructing Zion: Faith, Grit and the Realm of Possibilities
2019 Richard Saunders
Dear Dale, Dear Juanita: Two Friends and the Contest for Truth, Fact, and Perspective in Mormon History
2018 William P. MacKinnon
Across the Desert in 1858: Thomas L. Kane’s Mediating Mission and the Mormon Women Who Made It Possible
2017 Gregory A. Prince
Leonard Arrington, Church Historian: Lessons Learned
2016 John A. Peterson
Brigham’s Bastion: “Winsor Castle” at Pipe Springs and Its Place in the Great Game
2015 Todd Compton
Slickrock Missions: Jacob Hamblin’s Communitarian Expeditions Across the Colorado
2014 Richard E. Turley, Jr.
Clash of the Legal Titans: The First Trial of John D. Lee
2013 Stephen L. Prince
Antone B. Prince: Washington County Sheriff, 1936 – 1954
2012 Charles S. Peterson
Hopeful Odyssey: Nels Anderson
2011 Douglas D. Alder
A Century of Dixie State College
2010 Edward Leo Lyman
Southern Paiute Relations with their Early Dixie Mormon Neighbors
2009 Glen M. Leonard
Revisiting the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
2008 Veda Tebbs Hale
Maurine Whipple & Her Joshua
2007 W. Paul Reeve
Utah’s Dixie: A View from Across the Cultural Divide
2006 Lowell C. “Ben” Bennion
A Bird’s-eye View of Erastus Snow’s St. George
2005 William A. (Bert) Wilson
Folklore of Dixie: Past and Present
2004 Jill Mulvay Derr
Mrs. Smith Goes To Washington—Eliza R. Snow Smith’s Visit to Southern Utah
2003 Dean L. May
St. George and the Dixieites: George A. Smith as “Father of the Southern Settlements”
2002 Robert H. Briggs
The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows Massacre: Toward a Consensus Account and Time Line
2001 Wayne K. Hinton
The Southern Utah Mission: New Views on Its Purpose and Accomplishments
2000 Ronald Walker
Young “Tony” Ivins: Dixie Frontiersman
1999 No lecture this year.
1998 Hartt Wixom
Jacob Hamblin: His Own Story
1997 No lecture this year.
1996 Douglas D. Alder and Karl Brooks
From Isolation to Destination: The History of Washington County
1995 C. Gregory Crampton and Steven K. Madsen
In Search of the Spanish Trail
1994 Thomas G. Alexander
An Apostle in Exile: Wilford Woodruff and the St. George Connection
1993 Leonard J. Arrington
St. George Tabernacle and Temple: The Builders
1992 Laurel Ulrich
The Significance of Trivia
1991 William A. Wilson
Juanita Brooks and Family Narratives
1990 Ken Driggs
Twentieth Century Polygamy and Fundamentalist Mormons in Southern Utah
1990 Larry Logue
St. George and Nineteenth-Century Polygamy
1989 Levi S. Peterson
The Saving Virtues, the Pardonable Vices of Juanita Brooks
1988 Allen D. Roberts
The Truth is the Most Important Thing: A Look at Mark W. Hofmann, the Mormon Salamander Man
1988 Linda Sillitoe
Behind Salamander: A Homespun Tragedy
1987 Jan Shipps
The Scattering of the Gathered and the Gathering of the Scattered: The Mormon Diaspora in the Mid-Twentieth Century
1986 No lecture this year.
1985 William Mulder
A Sense of Humus: Scandinavian Mormon Immigrant Humor
1984 Charles S. Peterson
“A Utah Moon”: Perceptions of Southern Utah